The removal of the drain plug for the torque converter seemed to be a phase-in (phase-out?) beginning around 2000 model year, about the same time they started with the touch-shift.
I agree that doing this job is not "brain surgery", but MB does specify that the fluid is checked at 80C. I would not trust the other temp markings on the stick to be accurate when they indicate to check at 80C. And even though there are markings for different temps, how do you know what the trans oil temp is? In other words, which temp do you use, you can't tell 60C from 80C, at least not from the standpoint that it's calibrated to what the temp sensor on the contact plate says the temp is.