I live in Belair, MD. I always rode hondas for their reliability and feared Ducatis for maintenance costs. I had a VFR800FI. Put 38,000mi on it. 2 times to Daytona and 3 dozen track days. Replaced suspension, transmission and ended ownership when it caught on fire. Loved the bike, but in the end it was "too smooth."
Now have a ST4S 996. At 13,000 mi. 1 time to Daytona and 3 track days. It had a rough clutch, hard to shift, replaced under warranty. Other odds and ends broke all fixed under warranty. 2 year warranty, pretty nice. Is it as smooth as a Honda? Of course not. It's a race bike with blinkers. Love it. Does it cost more to maintain? Yes, get over it. Reliability a problem? Not for me but if the dealer won't help you, find one that will. I bought mine from Speedscycle.com and got more help than any Honda dealer I've ever done business with. Is a Ferrari as reliable as a Chevy? Talk about apples and oranges. Hope you're problems are over. Cheers.