Well done for possibly getting it all sorted. I have worked for 3 different manufacturers now, normally as a works controller or foreman or just on the front desks taking all the abuse from rightly unhappy people. The 3 where ford mazda and citroen. I can assure you that what you are going through and have been through even as far as the customer service from ARUK is NOT specific to Alfa Romeo. All 3 have been the same as you and a few others have described. Customer service seemed to be better from BMWUK on a personal front with a family members car however the faults and issues WHERE THE SAME.
Every car brand produces a Lemon every now and then which I'm sure you appreciate. But as a car mad man and someone who is passionate about cars and specifically alfa romeo it always disheartened me when I had to stand there and try and reassure the customers knowing full well that the problem will be difficult to solve. The big people up top I.E. ford uk would write to us after complaints about work or issues with the cars threatening to remove bonus structures or to come down and reprimand us for things that couldnt be fixed, so we would get it from both ends.
The thing to remember is that there becomes a point where after all these repairs have been carried out satisfactorily (SP) that by changing to another car or another make that there could be a whole can of worms to be opened yet which would only further worsen you opinion of the brand so it may be worth sticking with it.
Also remember that huge amounts of parts on cars are made by the same companies. So much so that with one company i was working at, the high pressure diesel pumps would fail at an alarming rate and we would run out of stock so the DP would go to bmw and buy one from them and put it on our customers car even at a loss if it wasnt under warranty. So again dont advocate to another make on a bad experience.
I have now finally convinced most of my family and friends to not go and buy a car because they have "good reliability" or good "customer service" but to buy a car that they feel they can engage with, enjoy driving, and love to just look at out the kitchen window when doing the washing up. And when something goes wrong to remember that there is a damn good chance that the same could have happened with any other make. Suprisingly with out me influencing them a large amount have gone and bought alfas old and new saying well I always fancied an alfa but never brought because of the apparent reliability issues and they all truly LOVE thier cars now instead of viewing them as transport.
Sorry to go on, and sorry you have had one of the BAD cars but every brand has them. Just think how big your smile is when it all goes right compared to how big it would be in a boring bmw.
Oh last couple of points. In the top gear worst car of the year awards in 2007 I think??? 2 of the bottom 10 for reliability and satisfaction where mercedes one was bmw, 1 was volkswagon and I think 10th might have been an alfa or not even an alfa in there at all. But the worst for reliability and customer satisfaction was MERCEDES. specifically for the ML 65. its not just top gear who have found this either.
Ok very last thing tyres. This actually grates me a little bit really as every dealer i worked in people would complain. Modern tyres are not designed to last!! they are designed to work the chasis if you are a spirited driver, they are designed to work exceptionally well in the wet they are designed to give huge amounts of grip in dry conditions so that should you slam on the brakes the abs only has to work a little due to the mechanical level of grip they offer. This is due to the compounds being softer as tyre technology goes on. But also when you had your 1.9diesel escort back in the 90's you had maybe 65-70 bhp when the 1.9td escort came in maybe 90-95bhp. New equivalents with duel mass flywheels have an extra 30-50bhp and 3 times the amount of torque. Even driving gently you use the tyres far harder than you ever did in the escort, also the weight of cars is going up hugely and the tyres need to cope. The un driven wheels (on FWD)from dealer experiance should last upto 30k on heavy cars if you are lucky and if you are lucky 40k on lighter cars. The front tyres on things like the 2.4jtd or v6 should last to the service interval if you are not to spirited. maybe only 10k if you are. on the ligher smaller cars then i would hope to see maybe 15k from fronts under normal driving. This is just a fact. look at cars that are just right crap small cheap and chearful. thier tyres last a life time. normally because they are cheaper harder compounds and not your pirelli Pzerros but a pirelli designed to do limitless miles but dont have to carry huge weights so can offer less mechanical grip to get the same desired results. Some tyres will vary better than others i.e the pirelli P6000 seems to be a better buy than the goodyear equivalent but do you put these "mileage" type tyres on your car or do you go for the F1's or toyo proxy type.which are better but for less time?
Anyway I truly hope the new car (which in my opionion should be a free replacement)that you are getting reignites the passion that made you buy the car in the first place and we all, im sure look forward to your next thread saying I LOVE MY NEW CAR