Thanks for your input. The filters from the Mercedes Benz dealership are really not that much more expensive than the local parts shop brands (about $7 or $8 versus $3 or $4.) All things considered, a few dollars is a small price to pay for something as important as filtration of the engine lubricating oil, and next change, I'll probably choose OEM.
However, I am curious. Is your recommendation based on the fact that it is an OEM part with the MB Star, and hence made specifically for the car, or are the OEM filters actually made better than their counterpart brands, i.e. filtration capacity or filtration efficiency, burst strength, internal check valve, O-rings vs. gaskets, etc? Have you had a bad experience with other brands?
This is not a challenge to your responses, rather just curiosity.