In the UK, my local dealer (actually *owned* by Mercedes UK who are 500yds away...) is backed up about 3 weeks for major work, but they try to squeeze in little jobs.
On the quality side, its true sadly. My 300CE has had a few problem caused by the prev. owner, but its got 160K on the clock and feels much tighter than my mums C220 with 60K. Her car has had so many minor niggling problems (leaks, bushes, plugs, wires, suspension, a/c etc etc etc)
Anyhoo, I'll stick with my 92 300 for some years to come