Re: A word of warning about buying an alfa
I've had my 2001 Alfa 147 for nearly 4 years - in this time it's done over 60k (it's on 104k now). It's suffered 2 cam belt failures, had new anti roll bar, both drop links, both top wishbones, alternator, thermostat plus the usual service items: belts, brakes, etc. Aside from the cambelts, which the Alfa TS engine is notorious for, I don't think that little lot's too bad, and if you know one end of a spanner from the other, they're quite straightforward to work on. Oh and it's drunk gallons of oil.
Before this I had a '97 Peugeot 306 D turbo, which I bought at a similar age and owned for the same length of time/mileage. This car had to have a new radiator, drop links, rear subframe bushes, track rod end on top of usual service items and at 120k, it decided to drop one of its big end caps off, resulting in a hell of a mess and a replacement used engine. Overall, the Pug probably cost me less in 3 years than the Alfa, but it wasn't half as much fun. The constant oil level checks/top-ups on the Alfa do get tedious though.