I do indeed have the 225 (a coupe, not a girly roadster!) and I do regard my self as a keen driver, and according to Clarkson I'm a petrolhead as Iv'e owned an Alfa!
There is no doubt that the TT is a damn fine car, it's fast (0-60 in 6.5), superb for in gear accelleration, it's very solid (built to a higher standard than my old 147) and does handle very....efficiently. I have always been a big fan of TT styling, so we will have to disagree there, as I think it really is an individual piece of simplistic, contemporary design that just doesn't age.
But, what it lacks is what Alfa Romeo's (the one's I have driven anyway) have in abundance - soul. When driving quickly the TT is great as the 4wd keeps you on track in any weather and it is especially apparent in slippery conditions where the car is near impossible to get off line. But in the dry and on the limit it lacks that feedback that says 'you are coming to the end of my grip mate!' and just doesn't feel very fluid.
And then there is the ESP, oh dear, it's like a big German bloke giving you a slap in the face and saying: "you are driving too fast! slow down!" every time you exceed the wheels traction envelope by the smallest amount. Very frustrating but I like my tyres too much to leave it off!
The GTA I drove on Saturday had all the grip of the TT in the dry but so much more. You felt like it wanted to go faster round the corners, it was willing you to have some fun with it, but gave you the information you needed so you didn't make an arse of yourself. And Audi should take lessons from the Alfa VDC system - simply superb.
As for Audi reliability I don't think anyone can argue that it's worse than Alfa's (bear in mind the volumes sold here) but Alfa are catching up. It's really the dealers who let Alfa down due to their scarcety and sometimes !!!!e customer service.
But there again on the Audi TT forum, the dealers are known as 'Stealers'