Got mine about a bit more than one month ago and I'm totally hooked. Funny thing is I was totally against SWs in general (also called "hearses" around here, quite understandably if you think of the old VW Passat, the previous Mondeo Estate or the Skoda Octavia, these being the most frequent), not too convinced I should go for an Italian car again (after a Fiat and a Lancia) and very likely to buy a petrol. I ended up buying a 156 Sportwagon, 2.4 JTDm - diesel, Italian, estate.
However, I can't fault it for any reasons apart from interior space, which is rather tight, sort of "everything you need, nothing you don't", and the small ground clearance, which makes me go very carefully (and slowly) over any imperfections in the surface - and curse big time at whoever is supposed to maintain the roads.
Yes, it's Italian. Yes, it has a number of electrical issues. Yes, it probably has more days off the road per year than the average BMW/Audi/VW/Skoda/Ford. Yes, the resale value is poor, to say the least (but I bought it used, so it doesn't make a huge difference). Yes, you really need a good specialist to look after it (and good specialists having looked after it in the past). BUT: yes, it runs like a devil having sat on a hot radiator; yes, it only drinks 7l / 100 km; yes, people turn their heads; yes, it can embarass more "reputable" brands, be it in a top-speed race or a short-distance sprint; yes, it feels comfortable inside, with the light leather, red dials (love the "sunken" displays, I went pretty close to a divorce when my better half took an unannounced look at the navi device and found out I was doing 170 km/h) and good Blaupunkt CD-player.
Overall, I'd say the big difference between the Alfa (156, can't speak for other models, but it's probably the same) and any other car I've driven is that in the Alfa you feel like being the driver; in the others, you're just a passenger with a steering wheel.
PS: I turned 28 yesterday, I wonder if that qualifies me as an "old guy driving an estate".