*post a bit long, sorry.*
i'm a new member (it's really two people!) but we've had our 156Ti selespeed since new (54 plate, 35,000 miles) and loved it. it is terrific fun to drive (manuals also, of course!), easy, and also due to hands on gear changing, safe (so it's a sensible buy, if you like....)
sele will change up and down gear for you if your revs are too high or low, don't know about other drivers but we never use the CITY setting for round town (sele does everything for you), instead just use right paddle to change up and let the car drop down for us (around 1000 revs.) then you can hit the motorway, and really let the engine loose. 4 years in we've still got the buzz and, as a result, the car. wicked.
in all honestly, the CITY setting is a bit jerky; the sele is surely designed to be used with the paddles first and foremost...
funny note: mechanics who have come to pick my car up for a service and -ahem- the odd 'tweak' (including Alfa guys) seem to be a bit wary of the paddles and choose to drive off in CITY. tee hee. (sorry any Alfa mechanics out there, lol.)
we are having our first wee issue with the sele at the mo but am hopeful that the guys on here will help us out as they seem incredibly helpful and KNOWLEDGEABLE, and that my friend, is power
when it comes to owning a selespeed; i wish we'd found these guys sooner...