Hey, don't mean to hijack the post here, I'm from the 1Addicts side... anyway I had a chance to drive a 2013 3 series over the weekend while my 135i was in for service. I was considering the F30 as my next car, so this was a good chance for me to check it out.
2. the 8-speed auto is a gem, but I agree completely that it should not block out 8th in Sport mode. I believe the Sport+ option (is that on the adaptive suspension?) lets you modify some of the sport settings, like the eco pro ones, not sure; I too would want the enhanced throttle response and tighter steering, but would like to retain the highway economy. Guess I'll just stick with a manual :-)
One other tidbit to add, and yeah it's just a preference thing, but I wonder why BMW moved the volume controls from the left to the right side of the steering wheel? In my One I often find myself steering with my left hand while my right is on the iDrive controller or the gearshift and I'm able to control the volume with my left........