I would take the advice of the previous poster and just enjoy the car! Had the rack not failed I wouldn't have replaced it. I've owned three Alfas and a Lancia and this is the only one that has ever had a fault that needed immediate attention. If you don't need to spend the money, then don't!
It's all part of the pleasure of owning an Italian car!
But seriously, if you've got grinding, squeaking, squealing and slackness in the steering, prepare for a bill. Where are you based? I got a recon rack fitted for £600 including the rack itself, but I'm only 40 minutes from the specialist in Wrexham. I think Alfa ate charging about £4-500 for the rack alone. Worth seeking out a good independent Alfa/Italian specialist in your local area.