I haven't really had any issues with my car except for squeaks and rattles in the interior. I had the stupid ignition coil failures that all VAG 1.8Ts had in late 2002/early 2003. But those were defective parts from Bosch, and were replaced under warranty. I've had some other failures, but my car isn't exactly stock.
A friend of mine has a 2002 Jetta 1.8T with 200,000 km and he's replaced virtually nothing. It even has original spark plugs. This guy is hard on his car too. Chipped at 10,000 km and it's been beat on for its entire life. Plenty of lapping days, auto-x, etc.