There seems to be 2 categories of Alfa owners, those that are very happy and those that have had a really bad time with dealers and vehicle unreliability.
I have to admit that after reading the various reviews scattered around the place that I was in two minds whether to go for an Alfa or opt for something else. Having test driven various Swedish & German machinery I took out a 156 for a spin. Twenty minutes later and very impressed a deal was struck and I was the proud owner of a black 156 JTD Lusso Multijet.
Working in automotive Quality Assurance means I know a thing or two about build quality - the Alfa does not disappoint its not quite up to the build quality of the premium marques, but is more than acceptable and as good as if not better better than most in this price range.
Driving the car is a dream, the engine is outstanding with an awesome blend of power, torque and economy. In practice this means that there is always enough power on hand for any occasion with fuel consumption in the forties.
Performance wise its not a sprinter, acceleration is adequate, along the lines of a Golf GTI, but its true forte is in the 60 - 120 MPH range where it is more than a match for most vehicles on the road. Comfort and handling are more adequate for my driving style, I reach my limit before the car does.
As far as dealer service goes I am more than happy with the PLC where I bought my Alfa. Service is efficient friendly and speedy, but expensive, but then if you want to run a car like an Alfa it is a small price to pay.
Would I buy another one? so far yes, it remains to be seen over the next two years how it measures up. My previous car was one of the first post VW Octavias. We all know how VW turned that Marque around. I suspect Fiat will do the same with Alfa Romeo.