I ran a mk1.5 on original injector until I sold it at 145k - still without any issue. I realise you'll always hear odd stories like this, but I agree its a beast of an engine - in every meaning of the word. Looks like an old engine too once you find it under the common rail and other modern bits bolted on.
Agree it's not as refined, but theres something pleasing about driving it. I went for 2.0 because it had the bits I required on it, plus 6 speed. But given the choice of 1.6 or 1.8... I'd go 1.8 everytime. If it had the 6 box, I'd probably not miss the 2.0!
One thing to add... on the mk1.5 there was 2 version - 115bhp and a 100. Get the 115!