E30 ftw! a well-maintained manual E30 will last you forever - well over 300k miles.
an E36 is a nice car, but if something goes wrong it'll be lotsa money out of your pocket. That's mostly due to the fact that in the E30 BMW had pretty much reached mechanical perfection so they started playing with electronics in the E36.
whats your price range? i, and many others i'm sure, would love to car shop for you.