Thanks for the info folks, even thought it's not what I particullary wanted to hear lol.
filipharvey - if I were to do the method you mentioned, is it possible to get the remote functions 'in-tune' with the car, ie the locking and boot buttons, if I used a second hand key? of is this something that would have to go back to Alfa as well?
It's a shame they use such crappy ways of getting extra cash out of people. only a few weeks back I needed a new key for a £70'000 Jaguar (new, not what I paid! :-) ) and it was a simple task. Got the key, had it cut, programmed in to the system myself, jobs a good un!
Alfa should charge a bit more for the car in the first place and drop the silly after sales prices, as it only punishes the used car market, which is where people can't afford things like this.
Anyone fancy starting a petition?