I can understand his frustration and anger. I think the design of the R51 was good but the execution of actually buiding them was terrible. Cheap parts is a good part of the reason. One of the reasons that Datsun and Nissan were so good at one time is that they used quality, Japanese parts and they were built to close tolerances. Since the 2002 Altima debuted under the Carlos Gohn era, the Nissan is more "Americanized" in they way their built.
When I say "Americanized," I mean they are building them the way Detroit's "Big 3" have been designing and building them. We went to a boxed subframe, a la the domestics. The interiors look cheap, just like the domestics. Parts come from Mexico or some third world nation, just like the domestics. It's getting harder to tell a Nissan Altima from a Chevy Malibu! I know the measures were done to save Nissan from bankruptcy, but, in the end, the product is still subpar to the Nissan products of old. How many tensioner shoes so you see fail on 02-03 Maximas?...none that I can recall.
Now I here the "updated" tensioner shoes for the VQ40DE are being sourced from Borg-Warner, a company who's aftermarket line of auto parts is very "middle of the road" in terms of quality (and, as a note, my Pathfinder had the "updated" shoes put in I had to pull the front cover for another issue. The new shoes were looking badly scored, so I installed a new set of tensioner shoes). As far as the radiator, Calsonic dropped the ball; but Nissan fails to properly take care of the problem. The rear suspension on our R51's suck, but it could have been made a lot better if Nissan used slightly more costly monotube shock absorbers, like the Bilsteins that came on some Chevy Blazers.
Fuel sender issues...never been much of an issue in the past, but suddenly we have them. WHo else has fuel sender issues? GM! Cheap parts lead to problems; the least they could have done is provide an access panel like the r50's had so we could service the fuel pump and sender without having to drop the tank! We all know of the R51's problems: failing ECM relays, failing serpentine tensioners, grounding issues, catalytic converters...the list goes on. Had the vehicle been built with high quality parts like Nissans of years back, we wouldn't have half of the issues that we have today and it would have been a great vehicle!
Don't get me wrong; I love my Pathy! But Nissan should have done a better job buiding it. Fortunately for me I'm a former Nissan Master Tech and have access to a shop and a full aray of tools and equipment at my disposal. If I was the typical Nissan owner who had to go to a shop and pay almost $100/hour and full cost on parts, I'd be pissed, too!