I have purchased Fords for many years and yes, I did do my research thank you very much. I am fed up with Ford and refuse to support any other American car company would took bail out money during the financial crisis. So, yes I am done with American cars.
The reviews at the time of the Ford Focus release were overwhelmingly positive. The transmission issue was not something that came to light until earlier this year, after we had put 20k miles on the car. Just because it was the first model year doesn't give Ford the right to REFUSE to fix our vehicle. One can experience an issue with any car model, but a warranty should ensure that an issue is corrected, something that Ford was unable to do.
The car wasn't safe, so no I didn't have the option of spending months (if not a year) holding on to a car that was unsafe to drive while we jumped through the various lemon law hoops. At the end of the day we would have likely reached a settlement with Ford that would have netted us roughly $3,000 more than what we got on trade. That amount of money isn't worth it when I factored in the safety risk the car represented to my wife and family. So, I would not consider that a HUGE mistake.
You should familiarize yourself with the lemon law, you'll need it.