I bought my 1997 740iL about 6 months ago and immediately fell in love with it. I had to do some minor restoration work since i bought the car for only $2500, but I also put about $10,000 in upgrades into it. In my opinion, its the perfect car, it has the speed and drivability of a coupe, with the space of a minivan. The only sad part is the suspension is really messed up (completely my fault) and its going to be a boat load of money to repair, so I'm going to buy a 2001 740iL to take its place because I love the 7 series too much.
You can save a lot of money by working on your own vehicle. You probably already know this, but mechanics charge a lot. Do it yourself and use this 1997 BMW 740IL repair manual software to guide the way.
I recently bought a 1997 Bmw 740iL Luxury Sedan with 154,000 original miles. I bought it for $1,500 and all it needed was a hood latch. Then I finished it off with fifteen inch chrome and black wheels and a premium navigation system. The power is amazing and it has all the options to make it considered a luxury vehicle. It is simply five out of five stars.