For those of you who've been following my miserable 159 experience and its electrical gremlins, I've complained to the dealer and they have agreed to take the car back. I didn't get all my money back but to be fair I have had some use out of it and we agreed he would pay me current forecourt price; to be honest, I'm glad to be rid of it.
I've decided to replace it with a 6 month old Vauxhall Monaro, the 5.7 litre V8 variety. It cost me 20k, seats 4 people with comfort and is highly tunable - a simple remap and exhaust will see 400bhp while for around 4k you can supercharge it to 500bhp.
Above all, it's a bit different.
My main reason for the change of heart is I bought into Alfa Romeo expecting something different from the main stream. The 159 IMO is not a bad car but it's not a good one either. The interior space is not great (my wife's Ford Focus is bigger inside) and it's too heavy (it weighs the same as the Monaro which is much bigger and has a 5.7 V8). My 2.4 diesel averaged a pretty poor 35mpg and felt average in terms of performance, in spite of 200bhp.
I love the way it looks but cannot help feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing. They've tried to meet Audi & BMW head on and succeeded in terms of styling but the engineering is not good enough and I know from experience if I'd chosen German I wouldn't have had as many problems.
I love the Alfa brand but I think they should go back to what they were originally famous for - lightweight, pretty cars with fizzing small engines or V6-powered exec cars. I will definetely look at the 169 when it comes out but until then it's goodbye.
P.s. big thanks to Mark Hollywood for all his advice in getting my car changed so quickly.