I agree the W210 drives much better and is more modern than the W124, but the quality of the materials, well... the jury is still out on that one...
Also, being the owner of a W124 T-reihe, I think my '95 E320 is much proportioned and better looking than the Ford Tauresque W210 T.
In terms of the coupe, the W124C is one of the classiest lines ever produced by M.B. I especially like the Cabriolet. In terms of cost, coupes have two less doors and are usually shorter than their sedans, although Mercedes atributes their higher cost to the reinforcement of the chassis due to the omission of the B-pillar, which makes the coupe look really cool with all 4 windows open.
Cost saving procedures killed the classic looks of the CLK, which looks cheap and plain with those fat B-pillars.
The W140 is the epitome of the old Mercedes-Benz philosophy of the "cost no object" of supreme engineering. I have driven several miles on a CL500 and I beleive is not as cumbersome as many beleive it to be. The more you drive it, the more nimble and agile becomes to your senses.