"I've now read about bad bearings, bad stators, cracked gas tanks, leaking valve covers, leaking water pumps, bad fuel pumps and bad suspensions. I know anything mechanical can fail, and I know the Internet sometimes is not the best source of info, but this is crazy."
They are real problems. Somebody had them and posted them up. Then a lot of people talked about them
BMW does not post its production number by model, so it is hard to determine if it is "normal". BMW also upgrades the bike without any fanfare so even the dealers are unaware of some of them or can tell you why.
I have a 2009 bike manufactured in 7/08. It had way too many recalls, and upgrades(fixes that did not warrant recalls because they did not endanger your life). Half of my riding is on fire roads and I was not impressed by the suspension.
BMW fixed all but the suspension under warranty. I did that on my own along with an Accelerator module to cure the abrupt throttle. Something you won't notice unless are putting around on rocky terrain at low rpm.
You are buying a 2013 bike that has different forks than mine. That ventilated flywheel on your bike will probably solve any stator issue. I had a cracked fuel tank that was replaced by a newer version. A lot of riders were in a hurry and got old stock only to crack again. Sounds like either old stock or an occasional new tank cracking. Don't worry about it, you have a 3 year warranty and 2 years on the replacement.
BMW made a better/thicker gasket for the valve cover. It is a wear item than riders pay for. Instead running to the dealer, if they had waited until service time, they would have gotten it without paying additional.
I have my own idea on fuel pumps. I don't think it is piss pore design. I ride year round, get gas from stations with a lot of customers and run an occasional dose of Techron in it. It has been fine.
Many of the bearing complaints came early and it was found there was a 2 month period when rear wheels had a constricted bores and not only ruined the original bearing but the replacement. Still a few bearing complaints but probably no worse than any other bike. I just grease mine.
I read about leaky water pumps occasionally, doesn't seem to be too many out there. I did not have that problem.
I have not had an issue in over 3yrs. Change the oil, check the clearance and go. It has never left me stranded.
A shaky start but I like it. So much so, that for much of my fire road travels I use it, instead of my thumper, because it is so much more stable.
It is the Internet, not everything you read is true. Go enjoy your bike