I'm in the same boat as you and had a very similar budget. I just picked up an E36.
Good luck my friend, don't give up as things do come up.
..: E46 M3 Coupe CB 6MT :.: DD: E92 335i Coupe SG 6MT :..
Bilstein - Volk Racing - Dinan - Vorshlag - APEX -
COMING: SGT - Rogue Engineering - CFCSL