(1) GM would not have issued a recall on the head gaskets if mine were a rare case. They've had enough complaints to make them issue a recall. You don't offer to fix tens of thousands of cars at $600 a pop out of your pocket unless you did something wrong.
(2) I own a 2000 Protege with 28,000 miles on the odometer. No (zero) problems. By the time we had reached 28,000 miles on the Cavalier, we'd already replaced the alternator, two stereos, all the belts and a broken headlight switch. I also owned a 1992 Mazda Protege. I drove that car 83,000 miles in only 27 months (more than 100 miles a day) delivering pizzas. Also, never one problem with that car. None! You won't find me believing any of your statistics (not that you mentioned any) when I have the proof in my driveway.
But in case you're one of those guys who believes everything he reads, then here's a link for you. Notice how there are NO Chevrolet products in the "Good Bets" category, and there are NO Mazda products in the "Reliability Risks" category. Oh well.