Ok. If you are looking for the "gokart" type feeling, and you've owned a couple e30s.....the only more "gokart" type feeling is in the e36.
The e46 is a different body style and smoothness that no old bimmer can touch. The e46 and e90 are more about a smooth ride and comfort. The e30 and e36 is about something totally different.
If you don't believe me, go drive them.
I would have to recommend getting and e36 M3....but if you can't afford that, then I'd have to say e36 328i manual (5 speed). If you can get the sport package (328is, 325is, etc.)...I highly recommend those for an even more of the "gokart" type feelings.
10-12 thousand should get you a decent e36 with mid-miles and money to mod. I just drove an e36 M3 with a supercharger. It had problems, but it was all "raced" out with racing seats and a "Rooz" type shifter. But it was ok.
e36 for my vote.