I've had similar problems with my car. I suppose that I'm lucky that I live in the U.S.
I'm not sure how lucky it is to have this bad a car. Its very inexpensive but troublesome at the same time. A constant problem with Ford Motor Company. The dealer has been helpful though, it's never taken any less than a week to fix a simple problem :)
You've made a good choice, buying that celica.
Remember FORD - Fixed Or Repaired Daily.
I did the reverse, had a Celica, now drive a Focus. I find the Focus more comfortable and easier to get in and out of. Toyota builds a good car, but they're not perfect nor trouble free as people build them up to be.
If you buy any car from the first year's production, you have to expect teething troubles. My mate bought a 190 VVTLi Celica (coincidentally) in 2001 when they first came out, and ended up handing the car back to the finance company after a year because it was a total disaster. Ongoing electrical problems, ECU software problems and sensor failures, plus ongoing problems with suspension geometry blighted the first year, topped off when a gearbox bearing ingested itself after just 11,000 miles and the 'box failed completely. The worrying thing was all bar one of the faults was fixed with "upgraded" components which Toyota had modified during the first year's run. Clearly, the first year's buyers get to be the guinea pigs and find what these problems are. I suspect the same is true of the Focus (and 90% of other cars out there).
Anyway, I am now on my second Focus (an 02 plate) which has racked up 90,000 miles with only one minor fault (a tailgate rattle). The 2000 X model before that did 130,000 miles with two minor faults (rear wheel bearing noise and a front suspension recall.) Blinding cars, as the sales figures show, and outright winner of the ADAC reliability survey in Germany a short time ago, as well as thrashing the Golf and most of the competition in every satisfaction survey before or since. You were unlucky.
I agree with what has been said already - the Focus was just out when you bought yours and there was bound to be teething troubles.
I do sympathise with your grievancies with the dealers - Ford in the UK just don't get it really, and the Japanese makes always score well for customer satisfaction.
I love my Focus. I will not buy another car until this-one breaks down, and it won't be soon.
I put 100,000 miles on a 52 plater in three years, thrashed the living daylights out of it, and in all that mileage it had just one fault - a squeaking aux belt tensioner.
100,000 miles = 8 services (including pads/discs as appropriate), five sets of front tyres, one set of rear tyres and the aforementioned tensioner. Still drove like new at the end as well - not a mark on the seats, not a squeak from the dash.
If I'd had any need for it, I would have bought it off the company at the end.
Not a Ford fan as such, but credit where it's due - this is a far more reliable and better made car than a Golf if our fleet experience is anything to go by. The Golfs look more expensive and better finished, but it's only skin deep. The Focus's engineering is better underneath.