Saviour or false prophet?
Geir - computer operating systems and now religion: you do like the use of the metaphor, don't you?
I do not know what the failure rate for GM's product line is, nor Ford's, DaimlerBenz, etc, etc. I stand by the assertion that the failures/problems listed here are not proportional to the entire Touareg population (somewhere between 2% and 5%, if you took this site as a representative sample - which you should not do) because it is a place to air grievances and seek assistance where other avenues have failed.
My personal experience has been an excellent one. That said, there have been a number of small issues: one of the front speakers did not work - replaced in a day; the radio manual was missing; when I blew out a tyre, there was no spare in the country for over a week. When I first got the car, I nearly flattened the battery by not latching the hatch properly - the non-essential systems did shut down, however, before the battery completely discharged and I closed the hatch properly. I've also had variable assistance from the dealer - they have only just become a VW shop and clearly have some logistic issues to sort out.
The car itself has been fantastic. We haven't done anything too exciting with it yet, but we love the performance, the faultless interior (everything fits together properly) and the gorgeous look of the car. My father-in-law said it's the best car he has ever been in, which is pretty good of him (he was trying to convince us to get a Mazda6 or Honda CR-V).
I just love getting in the driver's seat of this car: everything is in the right place (except the indicator stalk - too low because of the space required for the paddle-shift Tiptronic... paddles that I don't have! - but it makes no difference once you get used to it), the seats are comfortable (except around corners very quickly - they could do with some more side bolstering), it's got the power I need (I've got the V6 and I'm sure the V8 would make me happier, but I'd drain the tank even quicker!), it gets lots of admiring looks (and does not engender the rage that the Cayenne seems to)... I don't know what else to say: I love my car!
I haven't had any issues that would make me rethink my purchase. I've driven the Cayenne S with air suspension and it is a beautiful machine, too - much better through the twisty bits and more urgent - but it does not have the fit and finish of the VW (and too many controls that aren't particularly simple) nor the good looks (911 front end bolted on a truck...), in my opinion: I'm not at all jealous.
The onboard computer systems provide the usual distractions: fuel economy(?!?) and related trip information, outside temperature, basic audio functions can be called up, "status" of the vehicle (out of fuel, etc), and the convenience/comfort settings - these CANNOT be accessed while the vehicle is moving, so the posts about turning down the footwell lights and turning on the auto-lock/auto-unlock features assumed that the car was stationary while those activities were carried out. Most modern cars have these sort of mildly interesting/infinitely distracting toys.
Perhaps I am lucky that there is nothing wrong with my car. Most of the people here on the site, though, seem to love their trucks. I cannot stand unreliable cars - they are dangeorus and annoying - but I do not believe the Touareg is the general disaster area you now seem to think. Some of the people here have been unlucky, most have been very satisfied with their purchase.
The white is beautiful, isn't it? I've got a black tint on all the windows (except windscreen), too, so it looks very striking. It also stays much cooler inside than my other cars.
Hope you don't cancel your order and the Touareg gives you years of pleasure.