I have to agree about the German reliability myth. I had a mate who had 3 Audi TT's in 2 years when they were first released - the first went into the garage 2 dozen times in 18 months for various reason inc faulty suspension, brakes, several different electrical failures and even a new dashboard(!). Eventually he got a replacement but that didn't leave the forecourt as the passenger door was faulty and refused to open and by the third he just sold it on and bought a Vauxhall Vectra GSI (then a VW Tourag, then a 156
Another mate bought a Merc E320CDI and it's been in the garage more than out since he bought it. Bodywork defects, new clutch and gearbox and a variety of other faults - it is bloody fast for cruise liner though
My Alfa has had a fair amount of problems but they're nothing major, for an 8 year old car with 106,000 miles it's doing well and puts a smile on my face.