Which car you choose is really a reflection of you. The Maserati is, in a sense, and old-fashioned car. That is, you feel engine and exhaust vibrations through the seat of your pants. You feel surface undulations through the steering wheel. All of the cars you are considering but for the Maserati have engineered these sensations out of the driving experience, including the vaunted M3 (of which I've owned 3). The new M3 feels, "Dead," compared to the Maserati, except when driven at 7/10ths capacity or greater.
Now, these cars are not as realiable out of the box as their German or Japanese counterparts. Knowing that going in makes the experience all the more tolerable. My 02' CC had only 9600 miles on it when I purchased it, with an interior so perfect it was hard to imagine it wasn't brand new. There was a small oil leak, small coolant leak, and small transmission fluid leak upon my taking delivery. My dealer explained (and I've since confirmed) that many of these cars had some surface mating issues or gasket redesigns since '02. All of this was fixed under warranty. My water pump has also been replaced, along with the NIT unit which directs the Infocentre display. My climate control sometimes reads, "E," for error, in the gear selection window, and sometimes my car doesn't want to go in reverse, which causes the transmission idiot light to illuminate. Simply shutting the car off and restarting it seems to cure the issue, as the dealership is not reading any error codes by the time it gets to them. A Toyota this is not!
The car exudes a handbuilt quality about it, and it is, in fact, hand built. Whenever I take a panel off of the interior, to work on stereo matters or something, there are little labels with handwritten dates and names on them; "Franco, July 23, 2002," etc. You have to love that!
Conclusion. This is a car with much more personality than most of what is out there in its class. My car has never failed to start, nor left me stranded. At worst, its left me scratching my head a couple of times. With regard to the notion that a car is an extension of its driver, I enjoy the exclusivity this car affords. It reminds me of driving pre-GM Saabs and early M3's, when you felt part of a special club. Those cars too offered a more visceral driving experience. While I agree that this car is a true GT in the tradition of most Maserati road cars, I disagree with my fellow-member that the 911 is any way closer to a pure sports car. The 911, in my opinion, has suffered the same over engineering in the NVH department as the new M3. If part of the pure sports car formula is designing a car which by sound and sensation alone the driver can tell what is happening down where the rubber meets the pavement, the Maserati has the newer 911s beat hands down. I have no regrets in my Maserati purchase, and frankly wonder how I will ever be able to drive anything else in the future given the, "Lexusization," of nearly every other car out there.
Just my two cents (o.k., maybe three cents).