I had a 2001 A6 2.7T for four years and sold it to get the new A6. I
thought the 2001 was an excellent driver's car, and had no problem with
steering feedback, etc. The Tiptronic was another matter, because in 2001,
at least for the US, they shut out the ability to shift down to first gear,
or to start in first unless you mashed the accelerator. Frankly the A6 was
probably still the best sedan that year, but the second gear thing was
really annoying, and all to satisfy CAFE standards.