I have driven it daily for over 3 yrs and has been extremely reliable. I am so use to people making double takes when they see it on the road that it feels strange on the rare occasion when it does not occur. The performance is way beyond what I can explore and the exhaust note with the center exit U.S. exhaust is phenomenal and sounds only like exotic european cars can. The interior is very intimate and memorable and feels very nice once settled in. I think the exterior is one of the most beautiful, exotic shapes to date and still looks modern after all these years. I have owned Porsches and Ferraris and this is the most satisfying car yet. Don't be scared to take the plunge and get one.
In my opinion as a long-time Porsche owner I can make an honest comparison. I feel that from 1998 onwards the Esprit is a very usable and reliable car that is even more fun to drive then then nearly every Porsche, Ferrari 355, corvette and a viper. I have had nothing but pleasure without any headaches. Keep care of the Exclusive Lotus and it will keep good care of you. From reading some reviews, it is painfully obvious that the ratings are performed by individuals that have never owned any of the cars but just had an hour or so of driving.
Bought it 2 weeks ago. Have owned a Boxster, 911, Ferrari 308 Quattrovalve and a Testarossa and I go out to the garage at night just to look at this one more than the others. The interior is gourgeous in tan and the wheels are the most beautiful I have ever seen. The twin turbo acceleration is the best I've ever driven and the exhaust is pleasantly loud. Major service is maybe $1200 and was $5000 on the Testarossa. Other accessories and parts much more reasonable also. I am using as everyday driver and I fully expect it to be reliable.
It has more punch than than comparable Ferraris 355 and 360, thanks to the turbo, and it has a trunk, which they don't because of their large normally aspirated intake systems (the twin turbo design allows for a remarkably small and light engine design in the Lotus V8). Forget about all the garbage about it not sounding good, junk the exhaust and install straightpipes and this thing sings! You will get more compliments and looks with a nice Lotus V8 than any entry level Ferrari.