Ok before this thread digresses any further let me fill in a few steps that I skipped in my conclusion.
Normally I really don't pay attention to parts warranties too much, but
(and thanks to whomever put in the info about the Dorman regulator.)
We put a lot of miles on our e46.
3 series is arguably the greatest commuter car,
so since the new models are getting too complex,ie electric water pump at 1100 bucks to replace,
and just too much interactive stuff requiring a scan tool to reset ,I don't know if we will buy a new 3 series.I might just try to keep this one on the road
till my wife retires. So, the lifetime warranty will trump free delivery if I am keeping the car another 10-15 years.
thank you guys for the info again, I try to go oem as much as possible, but I
am with a lot of the previous posters, the oem regulator just do not hold up that well so I guess we are just on Gooch street.
Anyone have any problems with the dormans?