Yeah, for reliable better look for Focus with Duratec engine. But generally consider that most parts are shared between SVT and regular Focus, and the SVT needs more maintenance simply because it's driven more aggressive by the owner.
What I love about my SVT is fun factor. It's not made for drag racing, or to compete with GTs on the highway, but as a daily driver it's extremely fun. Aaaaand I like how everyone underestimates it on the road, thinking it's just another slowboat Focus... and then comes the surprise :P
@ Snow performance - SVT is the only first generation model with Traction Control.
Blue SVT 2002
Our Lady of blessed acceleration
...that should be written as 'The First Law of Internet Forums'