My boss has the same car ( but '96) and also got the recall notice. They didn't have to fix anything and the car is fine.
As for not getting the recall notice Loubapache, did you buy your car from an MB dealer? If so you should have gotten the notice. If you bought it in a private sale or from a non-MB dealer than they probably don't have you on record and can't send the notices. There should be a change of ownership slip in your owner's manual you can complete and send in then you will get any notices like this in the future.
RickD, tires can have a major effect on how the car feels on the road, and especially on handling and road feel. As gillybenztech says, double check the tire pressure. What tires did you use to run? When I bought my 420SEL it had Pirelli P600s on it and when the wore out I got Continentals at the local MB dealer. They were fine tires, but felt so incredibly different from the Perellis that you would swear it was a different car. I experiences much the same changes as you did.
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired