My cluster died, too, in my '99 323i. The car has just over 40k miles.
The cluster lights still work. I just have no speedo/tach/fuel/temp guages. They are all frozen indicating the last readings when the cluster stopped working.
This is actually the second time this happened. The first time (a couple of weeks ago) I pulled all the fuses but put the #43 fuse back in the wrong slot. Took it to my local indy shop and they put the #43 fuse in the correct slot, and voila, the instrument cluster came back to life.
Then it died again a few days ago. The codes the shop pulled didn't seem to be overly indicative to them, other than the "cluster might need to be replaced."
The shop wants to replace the cluster, but I am suspicious it is something else. I'd also prefer not to pay $800 for a new cluster if that is not the actual problem.
I have the battery disconnected (neg terminal) and am going back out in a few minutes to see if that has any affect.
Maybe a k-bus reset? We will see.