I think that there will always be problems with cars that drive the owners mad... especially if the dealers don't sort them out effectively.
I had a 3 Series Coupe for 3 years... and although I would say that it was a great car... and didn't actually cause that many problems... when I first got it, it was a bit of a nightmare.
There was a rattling / knocking from the dashboard, when on the motorway.
It went into the dealer around 5 times... and each time they didn't fix it. They tried replacing air vents etc... and eventually they said that the car was no different to any other... and that they couldn't do anything more for me...
At that point, as I was getting nowhere, I had to write to their head office and BMW also...
They eventually sent the service manager out with me in the car... who said that the rattle would drive him made too...
It turned out that it was the inner wheel arch lining knocking on the wing... which they were able to fix... although even that took 2-3 attempts.
Apart from that, I have only had minor stuff go wrong... but the first 3-4 months were a nightmare (since I did 60 miles on the motorway every day).
I know that if the same thing happened with my 159 Ti now... people would be quick to say, "Ah... well... it's an Alfa... you should have known better..."
The problem with Alfa is that it happens more than with other brands... and they don't seen to jump on problems when they occur. Which just purpetuates the problem for the brand.