If he was thinking of buying THE VERY LAST YEARS model e36, I'm pretty sure he can somehow find money/save for THE VERY FIRST YEARS model e46. Being 1 YEAR MORE from what he originally found.
Unless, he liked the e36 model bodystyle.....then in that case, if he wanted to go CHEAP, then he should buy and e30 and put a supercharger or some other rediculous mods on it to make it cool.
Annnnd, I think I'm feeling a poll coming on.
Should he buy....
1) e30 (As Storamin says)
2) e36 (As he originally found)
3) e46 (As I say)