As for stone chips, what sort of roads do you guys drive in the UK?
As I've previously mentioned, I've driven my red Alfa several times along the gruelling 900kms stretch between Melbourne and Adelaide (in Australia). I'm guessing tumble weeds, flies and dust are not as destructive as stones as I only count a few stone chips on my paintwork.
I however note that the clear top coat on the 159 is softer than other cars. Apparently the softer clear coats are more translucent and give the cars their deep gloss when new. However one needs to be very careful when washing their Alfa. It is important to use a soft and clean sponge free of small abrasive particles. Many 159s I've seen have had swirl marks imparted onto the paintwork and hence have lost their deep gloss. Alfas require a bit of TLC and not necessarily suited to the non-enthusiast.