I'm bored working a night shift humoring myself with this drivel so I'll join.
I grew up in a low income family so dealerships and repair shops were something I never experienced. We fixed our own transportation. Was a neccesity, either that or go without shoes or food. These days I make a pretty comfortable living compared to a large percentage of the U.S. but still, my perspective of reliability and repair costs come down to these two values: ease of repair and cost of replacement parts.
I purchased my OBW much for the same reasons as pretty much everyone else. Economy, inclimate weather, cargo etc. I'm pretty handy with a wrench (given space and time) so I don't fret about doing repairs, no matter how complicated. I walked into the subaru world blind about the brand only knowing that they had a real AWD system, not some funky "apply brakes to slipping wheel" type of electronic trickery.
The car has 230,000 miles on it now. I've replaced a front axle, a couple O2 sensors, normal scheduled maintenance, and performed the dreaded head gasket repair. Having never torn a subaru motor apart before, I was still able to knock it out in 9 hours (didn't even unbolt the motor from the mounts :O) The parts were cost competitive from the dealer compared to discout outfits.
All together, I've put 100k of my own miles on the car and invested about $1k dollars worth of parts and maybe a generous estimate of 24 hours total labor. One of the easiest cars I've worked on. Sounds good to me for a daily driver.
If I want fancy interiors I'll get a luxury car.
Past cars :
'79 Cobra Turbo
'86 Fiero (that went 315k before sold to junk yard, got close to 40mpg. Was a pos but went from point A to point B and felt fast to this high school kid)
'96 Mustang gt (sold with 140k and only replaced a shift fork I broke racing a turbo neon)
2000 F-250 V10 4x4 (over 100k, just had to replace front wheel lockers)
1991 Geo Metro (bought for $500, put 50k miles on it, got rear ended on the interstate, got $2000 for it from insurance)
2004 Cobra (two wheel bearings at 20k miles, but did the 1/4 in 11.7 @ 124. Almost lost to an '05 STI once...)
2007 Corvette (Not one complaint or problem until 58k when it threw the harmonic balancer. Replaced myself, then took to dealer to get ABS code read that Discout Tire caused when I bought new tires. Didn't know it was still under warranty, dealer informed me about the warranty when he saw cosmetic damage to the oil pan. Replaced it for free under warranty since the balancer caused it. Loved that car, more comfortable, wayyyyy better dry weather handling compared to the cobra and better fuel economy compared to the subi.)
Well that burned up some time here at the office. So yea...what was my point?