I have been browsing this forum for two years now and have decided to register so that i could respond to this thread.
My father bought a Mercedes 170Va in 1950 and replaced it with a 170DS in 1954. This car ran everyday until 1980 (with a few exceptions) and ran up 800,000 miles. I have considerable experience with cars like W120,121,108, 115, 116, 123, 124, 126 and now a 2000 W163. Mercedes Benz has undergone many changes thru these generations of cars BUT the fundamentals are still there. It is a car that feels like an engineer designed it and then test drove it before releasing the product for sale. Lets not forget, the primary goal of the company is to make money nowadays, so we may never see technological tour de force (and a loss leader) like the W100 again, but the company has survived and continues to make well thought out products.
I have experience of the JD Power surveys, where the dealer shoves a prepared survey sheet to the customer (Mitsubishi did it to my niece after every service) so how can it be an indication of *quality*?
Have a good day.