From what I've read the first-gen Cooper S doesn't top the reliability charts, and that's fine with me. But is it easy to work on yourself? Coming from BMW ownership I'm not expecting years(or even months) of completely worry-free operation. But I do hope to be able to fix things that go wrong with relative ease - things like alternators, cooling system bits, maintenance/wear items like shocks/belts, etc. Does the entire front end of the R53 need to come off to get access to anything? That super-dupercharger too...is that a capricious item? Do you wrench on your own, or do you take it to a dealer/shop?
p.s. found this great picture too: