I'm a Chevrolet/GM person, but bought the van for the wife (she didn't like the Astro and couldn't afford the Venture). Problems we've (I've) had since we purchased it...
HEAD GASKET blew around 95,000 miles. Had some warning beforehand with the Low Coolant warning light coming on and the smell of burning anti-freeze during the summer. Knowing now what I do, the warning signs started as early as 6 months prior. Fortunately, I did all the work myself and ended up paying for head bolts ($30), lower intake manifold ($100 used), gasket rebuild kit ($150), thermostat ($10), spark plugs ($15), new tools :) ($100). Had to replace the lower intake manifold due to one bolt hole being cracked to the edge of the manifold and another bolt had snapped. Poor design on Ford's part in my opinion.
The driver's side door lock (power) only locks the driver's side. Cleaned the contacts and it worked for a few weeks, and it's back to the way it was (not working). Will eventually replace it soon.
Also in the driver's door, the window bracket broke its tack-weld, but so far the window hasn't stuck.
The interior light and Door Ajar light/warning come on and off on occasion. At first I thought it was the rear hatch, but I've determined it to be the 4-contact push pin assembly on the sliding door. Two of the four contact pins don't extend fully 100% of the time. Plan on attempting to refurbish/replace in the near future.
All in all, despite the problems that other's have had with the head gasket (believe me, I feel your pain... try working on it by yourself!!... and I'm NOT a car mechanic!), this vehicle has been dependable.
Wife wants to replace it with a newer model and I was told by one dealer that Ford has fixed the head gasket problem, but after reading the other posts, it seems that the problem is still there and there seems to be an issue with the transmission as well. I feel fortunate that problem hasn't hit me!
Myself, just got me a 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo and guess who's the happy one!!