BMW's Z8 will be discontinued in 2003. the last models available will be the alpina edition of the Z8 (called "alpina roadster V8") -- the first ever alpina for the US!! IMO the auto tranny fits the potential target audience much better!
i personally won't miss the Z8 but i think it's great that alpina is entering the US -- they do a great job in optimizing BMW cars in an elegant, subtile way.