AutoWeek just did a very brief write-up on BMW's 330d, the diesel-powered version of their 3-series sedans. (Click on the pic at left for the article.) For $50K you get one of the best chassis on the planet, 369 lb-ft of torque at only 1,750 RPM, and 32.6 MPG if you drive like the spirited magazine folks. No diesel smell or clatter, just gobs of torque and quiet confidence. I rode in diesel powered cars like this a lot when I was in Europe a couple of years ago, but it took me several days before I realized they were indeed diesels.
I've read that most auto makers other than Toyota are bringing or developing diesels for the American market, especially now that BlueTec and similar technologies for particulate control are ready. But those plans are at best two years off, and the domestics aren't talking about it until 2010. It's frustrating, as aside from the emissions stuff the technology isn't dramatically new. Sadly, once again, the domestics are behind the curve (ref. 70's fuel economy, 80's quality).