Thanks for the responses, guys, much appreciated.
I have to say, it's a sobering sight reading some of the horror stories on AO; it's enough to put anyone off. My experiences with my previous two TS Alfas was pretty positive, with lousy fuel consumption being the main beef with the 156. But I was a bit disappointed to read so many people saying they preferred the TS engine to the JTS; I hope there isn't a parallel there with the Ducatis (forgive the digression
): after my 748, which had given my great service, was SMIDSY'd, I was prevailed upon to replace it with a 749, as this was the so-called more developed, more modern engine, which didn't suffer from the issues of the 748 desmoquattro engine, principally flaking chrome on the rockers. Well, maybe not, but it gave me more trouble than the 748 ever did, and eventually the engine seized at a very modest mileage. I fitted another engine, but never really liked the bike or trusted it get me where I wanted to go, or, indeed, to start in the mornings. Whereas the 748 can be sat outside in the yard covered in snow, and will start first time on the button.
And the moral, dear reader? I bought another 748!
So, as I say, I hope the parallel isn't too strong.