I bought a 156 a a practical but good looking/sporty car for my wife. It's such a nice drive I use it myself now.
I was a bit weary about buying a second hand alfa, especially as I saw a few neglected ones at car dealers. So we got a 1.8 TS Lusso.
The only problems to date are: very slight oil drip - I think that's because the guy who last serviced it didn't use a collapseable washer. Can't operate o/s rear window from drivers door control. remore key/alarming has just stopped working, after changing the battery.
I've seen lots of notes about the remote key giving up, so I'll try a few tips before shipping it off to the "chris" guy on ebay.
Oh, the glove compartment door was a little bent, I think caused by the light switch, which now stays on. I'll just stick a rubber grommet or something on the door to press the switch.
I was also surprised how comfortable it was after a longish drive (150miles). Lots of rentals I've had in the past really gave me back ache. No Probs here, though I can't quite decide whether it's arm rest up or down - may be a bit of both