Good news! They figured out my drivability problem on the S600
First they tried the coil and plugs, then a shot in the dark with fuel injectors. Finally after the tech gave it some thought they ruled out the injectors. This is where the utter complexity of the car contributed to the difficulty of the diagnoses. The new V12 runs on one bank of 6 cylinders under light load. Part of this system is a valve in the exhaust that closes to keep the cats warm and keep the exhaust note normal among other things I am sure. It was stuck closed due to a broken clamp. My big burly V12 was exhausting through a straw choking itself off.
Back to the JDP deal. I went to their site and ran a comparison. I selected 10 cars, S,E,C,and M class Benzes along with the Lexus, Acura, a Caddilac, a Chysler, a BMW and something else. Then they allow tou to choose what features are important to you and rate the catagories for importance. The results were generally pretty good for MB. Naturally the Lexus was on top each time but, it was generally followed by either the E or S class in second place. The Benz cars always did the best when performance and style were high priorities. I think this illustrates Ashmanns point. When you compare somewhat like models the MB products fair very well. I would have to agree that comparing an S500 to an Accord isn't a fair comparison considering the level of gadgets on a top of the line model. When the top is compared with a like competitor MB is in the game. It would be my desire to see them at the TOP of the game like they once were.