I have a TE ('91) 4-matic. Mine has been high maintenance in the extreme, but it's been 95% covered by the MB Starmark warranty. Despite it's maintenance issues, I've been very happy with the car. I'd recommend it but not without some type of warranty; preferably Starmark. Not that I know that much about what different warranties offer, but the dealer has fixed everything short of tune ups and breaks free of charge, and offered a loaner car each of the many times mine's been in.
Back to the car: the car handles great for a big car, is extremely quiet and fun to drive and has 0 rattles and squeaks. It receives a lot of respect on the road (a definite plus for any car), and is easy to maneuver around town. The A/C is adequate for Seattle, and I love the heated seats and adjustable lumbar control. Someone told me recently that the car has load leveling. I guess that's a real pain when it has to be fixed, but despite any amount of stuff I've hauled, I've never felt as if I was driving up hill, unless of course, I really was driving up hill. Having driven Audi's and Volvo's new wagons, I like the TE much more.