Hunter, I'll be honest I have looked at other models - I haven't looked at Alfa blindly, but every time I come to look there is absolutely nothing that has the same kind of style, driver appeal and quality that an Alfa has. Some might smile at 'quality' but every one I've had (touch wood) has been good and when components have failed (which I expect they will) they have been replaced in an efficient manner by the dealer concerned. This 147 is my 7th Alfa, after 4 Fiats with a few Fords, Vauxhalls, Volkswagens, Peugeots, Citroens and Renaults previous to that. Only the Fiats we had came anywhere near to being as chacterful with the Clios a distant 3rd.
And just to round it off, what was the bit that spoiled my 159? - the Vauxhall engine! (Cue Fraser - should have bought the diesel!)