Too many people look at this as a "by the numbers" decision. If price-performance is your number, look elsewhere (although Ducati's 1098 is a serious contender here). Japanese bikes are, hands down, better performers, more reliable, embody more of the latest technology, better aftermarket parts availability, are cheaper to run, maintain and own. etc, etc. However, many of them are about as exciting as a microwave. They lack soul, emotion, passion, character. And of course, everybody owns one and you can't tell one from another. Also, many of the Japanese superbikes are better machines than their riders...leading Suzuki to add gizmos which tame their superbikes down a bit to give "average" riders a chance at riding well on them (a good thing, imo). On the other hand, Italian bikes are beautiful, stirring, fussy, high maintenance, passionate, memorable (like several women I know). The tingle you get every time you ride is worth every penny. Chris ps. The Ferrari Enzo, Italy's penultimate supercar, is hugely expensive with absolutely outstanding performance. Very exclusive. Only 700 were made, and YOU didn't get to buy one just because you had the money. Ferrari CHOSE who got them....just proving that Italian machines are not about the numbers...they're about the lifestyle and the experience.