Well, the car's pretty damn good, I have to say. Put a custom exhaust system on it in sept 2000, that ran close to $1500. Interior is great, the car drives with no discernable problems, trans works well, shifts at the right times and is responsive enough. Body is nice too, and the paint is good.
So, yeah, I feel like the car's worth saving. It's been very reliable up to this point.
Still wondering about others' experiences with mercedes engine builders, sellers of used engines, etc.