Re: Anyone experiencing noises (crunches and grinding) on full lock in their LE's?
Not experienced this one, will keep an ear out for it. Good luck in getting it fixed - hopefully as simple as a fluid change.
All new cars seem to have a few teething troubles (certainly in my experience) although ironically our (now 6 year old) X-Type seemed much better built (and has a vastly superior paint finish, for example) than our new Spider. Alfa build quality is much better than it was, but it's certainly not the best, I love em but I wouldn't call 'build quality' if I were playing top trumps and got an alfa card, if you know what I mean...
Having said that, when we were having hood issues, we spoke to a couple of friends and family members with new convertibles (eg VW, Mercedes) and they also had problems (persistent leaks, repeat repairs, etc). So yes, all brands have problems, but Alfa's quality could definitely be better. And it can be done - Jaguar is a great example. Alfa have come a long way but they're not quite there yet, IMVHO.