Fair enough question, Whitey. No, there had been no other major mechanical problems with the car. I always felt it was pretty well engineered for a first generation model (or maybe 1.5 generation since it was sold in Japan as early as 1997). That was why the battery failure came as such a surprise.
The very first reply in this thread, from Docnick, pretty much expressed how I and probably other users felt when we originally purchased the car. Right or wrong, we listened to the Toyota salespeople and felt that battery failure was simply not something that was going to happen to us. By the way I've written more about this at http://bit.ly/51EK0S