I bought a 2009 Mini Cooper D, with pretty fantastic spec (it has pretty much every option you could get, including heated front screen etc)
I'm loving it, it's just so much more fun than the Fiesta/Polo/Skoda alternatives.
The handling makes me giggle, you have to recalibrate your brain to accept you can actually attack a corner at the speeds you can, and I used to own an Alpina BMW!
I've ditched the runflats, gone to normal tyres, which made a hude difference to noise and comfort.
I've also replaced the rubber turbo seal (dead easy and £9 off ebay)
A knocking noise from the rear suspension was fixed (dead easy repair and £12 off ebay)
No reliability issues, no build quality issues, good mpg.
The only thing I would say is that whilst the seats are comfy, it's not a 'comfy car' per se.
On runflats, the ride is a joke.
On normal tyres, it's better, but it's still very stiff and some bumps can make you cringe.
I have 17" alloys on mine though.