I agree with the first comment, these cars are a joke to maintain, and a very poor one at that. Our A4 in the UK just continued to cost us money after it was out of warranty, and we eventually sold it for a fraction of the price we bought it. If you disagree with this, have a look on any car website (autotrader.co.uk) and you'll find year 2000 Audi A4's going for about 6-7K GBP. This price is market driven; people are just not willing to pay for this car.
You can't justify the price in Australia.
Depends on your garage. If you take your Audi to a dealership, you WILL be ripped off. I found that my local garage charged me 1/3 the quote given to me by my local Audi dealership for brake replacement. How does £300 (inc parts, labour and VAT) sound compared to £800 + VAT from the dealership?
Audi parts are largely interchangeable with (read "the same as") VW/Seat/Skoda, so take your motor to a place that knows all these cars inside out and you should get a good deal, because they know what the dealerships are up to. The 15k service cost me £80 from my garage = get quotes before you have work done.
In the year I've owned my A4 1.8T, the brakes are all that have "gone wrong". The air con is a bit dodgy, but I can live with that until the 90k service (coming up). I wouldn't drive anything else on a regular basis any more.
I have had more little things go wrong with the Audi than my previous 4 cars. And it does cost a fortune to maintain with the original parts. But mechanically in the drive chain it is is superb
It is a dream to drive and goes around corners like it is on rails. How they get something that heavy to handle so well is beyond me. It is a very heavy car so don't count on beating anyone off the line, but once in top gear on the motorway it is at home.
My biggest criticism would be how much gas it consumes. I have the 2.6 ltr model and even when being driven conservatively it is very thirsty. I guess this comes with the weight.
Probably never buy another one, but glad I had this one for a while. Just too expensive to run and maintain for the miles I do.