Good show, Bigshot. Glad you got the dealer to bend. With only 23k miles, its almost like a new ML, except for model year. Did you take extended warranty on it? Maybe you should, because 98 MLs had lots of problems. Hope yours was not amongst the first 10,000 or so made.
In any case, you came out a winner in this whole episode, except for the stress and harassment. But then that's life!