molgrips, I appreciate your point - better to have a car that you know is well maintained and know the history, than a wild card.
However, the issue has been repaired once, needs to be repaired again and my concern is that it will need to be repaired a 3rd time outside of warranty.
I know that you will have to spend money on any car, but this will be expenditure on top of the normal costs of running a car, which I am not so keen on. The chain cam part is not expected to be replaced pre 200,000 miles/life of the engine, hence the location at the back of the engine and overall expense.
having said all that, it might be best just to chance it - if it doesn't fail, I'm quids in. If we sell it, well there will be the depreciation in the period that we have owned it and replacing it with anything that is of a similar age is going to be almost as expensive and therefore require more outlay, unless we go for something that is 'good/better value' (I would happily have a Skoda Octavia, VRS or regular, but the wife won't).