Having bought my '86 300E last October, I am learning as I go too. As gillybenztech mentioned, Are you sure the garage you took it to is familiar with Mercedes? You might take it somewhere else for a 2nd opinion. Could save money in the long run.
You techs out there, could the difference in starting be from the fuel accumulator? I know mine starts easily when cold, but I have to pump the gas when starting warm.
Good luck with your car. I know you'll enjoy it out on the road...