Back in July 2005 (updated in September), Philip Greenspun published a detailed owner’s review of his factory-new Cirrus SR20, the 200 hp (cheaper) sibling of the Cirrus SR22. Philip has flown his plane pretty seriously around a huge part of the continent (including the Canadian arctic), and has a long list of both the good and bad aspects of it. There are dozens of annoyances — large and small — that you’d never know about after reading a glossy magazine review written on the basis of a single test flight.
Philip also speculates about the actual safety value of the chute. In his opinion, most or all of the cases where people have pulled the chute and survived would have been survivable in a non-chute equipped Piper or Cessna, while in the cases where the chute really was necessary, it failed and resulted in a fatal accident. I don’t know how accurate this analysis is, but it’s an interesting perspective, especially coming from a Cirrus owner.
This page is highly-recommended reading, even if (like me) you cannot imagine ever being able to afford a factory-new plane. The 6-8 week, USD 10,000/year annuals — while still under warranty — are certainly an eye-opener. I wonder how much he’ll pay for maintenance when the plane is a little older and the warranty has expired. It sounds like a pretty nice plane, though, on balance, and I certainly wouldn’t turn one down.