Ya, the crud was all around the crossover and the plenums for cyl. 1 & 2. After I disconnected the EGR and re-routed the blow-by to under the car, I don't have near that much buildup.
As for all the negative stuff you'll read on this forum about our motor, try not to let it get to you. I've asked every MB and private garage mechanic I come across about the failure rate of this motor and have yet to have someone substantiate it. I've come to the conclusion that the problem is WAY overblown! Every MB lead mechanic I've met says that in the cases that they have heard of, the driver failed to maintain the motor with oil proper changes.
Change your oil HOT every 3,000-5,000 miles and drive the snot out of her!
Keep in mind that those on this forum who poo poo the "S" class diesels likely drive 190's and 240's and 300D's and have what I call " 'S " envy!