I got 80K out of mine. I wish they'd been trouble-free miles, but the car was a lemon, especially the bit in front of the windscreen. I didn't have the dreaded rough idle, which can be an indicator of compression loss, but I had numerous sensor faults, injector faults and fluid leaks, and went into limp-home mode on a semi-regular basis (it first did it within a week of new.) Though to be fair, I reckon I may have only had the one injector fault - it just took three years and umpteen visits to get a dealer to fix it.
As with any piece of machinery, you can get a good 'un or a bad 'un. It's all about 'mean time to (expensive) failure' and the stats stack up against the
in that department. It could be that the vast majority really do go round the clock without problems, but it appears that Renault have paid out enough in warranty claims for the engine to no longer be a viable proposition.
As you say though, Renault's ludicrously long service interval has a lot to answer for, both on the
and the diesel engines. They've dropped the interval to 12K on the new 2.0dCi and right down to 9K on the last of the 1.9's.
To Nik: Just call it an educated guess. Given the situation that you had to eat one or the other, which would you go for? Think of it as a Bush Tucker trial