Think I may hold some sort of dubious record here.
I went through an importer (Broadspeed) who ordered my 147 via Spain.
Made initial order on 04/06/01, paid deposit on confirmed order on 26/06/01, finally took delivery on 17/06/02! Thats over 12 months or 379 days if you're counting..... I was.
Original quoted lead time was 12-16 weeks, then in November was told build date would be Wk3/02. Wait frustratedly. Mid Feb receive letter, your car is ready, balance please. Balance sent.
Silence, then after 3 weeks, receive registration document for a Ford Galaxy?? Surely some mistake! Yes, we're picking up your Alfa next week, repeated ad nauseam for several weeks. I get (very, very) fed up, threaten legal action. Silence.
Suddenly, car arrives. Decide to go to check it out (unannounced, 'cos they don't answer their e-mails/voicemails, and I no longer trust anything they say).
Car brought out. It's Sterling Grey (was my original choice, but changed to Casual Blue when order was confirmed). Check car over carefully. Everything else is as specced (selespeed, 17" supersports, sunroof, leather, CD changer, all UK bits where they should be), so colour I can live with. But had been given wrong chassis no, so have to arrange new insurance cover note for registration. Insurers can't get details right, takes 3 attempts before details are near enough to be acceptable.
Meanwhile, just when you think it can't get worse, the keys are lost and new keys need to be ordered from Italy. 2 days later, keys are found, with half-hearted apology, and car is ready for collection.
This was my first import; well, you try these things once. Broadspeed have never really explained why it took so long (especially the 13 weeks between me paying the full balance & car arriving in UK), and based on my experience, I would not recommend them to anyone. OK, I saved money, but was it worth the wait and the stress? In time, maybe I'll be able to look back and laugh at the 'experience'.
Happily, after 2 weeks and 600 miles, the car is fantastic and a joy to drive. Had 'rear numberplate light' and 'rear fog light' warnings in the first 2 miles, but nothing since. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.