I agree that the W210's drive more like an Acura or a Lexus than MB's of old.
The steering is much, much lighter, and so is the accelerator pedal input. The pedal feel is very light and less linear, with a lot of tip-in.
My mother has a 1999 E430, and I have to admit that I enjoy driving it very much. It's also nice having a cupholder.
My advice is to drive one of each. Nothing replaces a seat of the pants drive.
Oh, the W124's also have recirculating ball, not rack and pinion like the W210's.
2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".