I don't put myself in that category but I did find myself enamored with the new 500 after seeing so many in the flesh in Italy almost two years ago. Pictures do not do it justice.
Let's face it, the Fiat faithful are a rare breed. Fiat earned a bad reputation here in North America, especially during the "Japanese" years. Fiats were thought of as cars having soul but the body was weak (literally). Fiat has been gone from our shores for decades now and few except some of us gray beards remember the bad old days. That's good for Fiat.
Everything I've read and heard about the new 500 is positive. Oh sure there have been some critics (take that word literally) who bemoan that it isn't the fastest car on the planet, or who nit-pick (something I've been known to do now and then) but overall the press here and abroad (who have lived with the car for what, four years or so) are impressed with the car.
The examples I saw in Italy were flawless. I admit I did not drive one but you can appreciate fit and finish with out getting behind the wheel.
When my "Fiatization" article came out I heard from a couple of the faithful, John Montgomery and Miguel Caparros. John M is definitely a Fiat fanatic, posting an article on the 75 reasons a 500 is superior to a Mini. I'm not taking sides here, I like the Mini (even though I did posit when the Mini came out that although it is a much better car than the original it was not a ground-breaker like the original).
I only have 800 miles on my Fiat, but it has been flawless. The one thing that stands out on the car is how many people notice, point, stare, and even begin following you on the highway to get a better look. We have had many reports of "Fiat stalking". Just like the Mini had 10 years ago when it was fresh; the spontaneous appeal of the Fiat is very powerful.