In general, as a do it yourselfer I always change my filter when I change my oil and on every car I've owned other than the mercedes the filter was under the car. So used to putting the car up on ramps and climbing under I do the same with the Mercedes. And I agree, gives me a chance to look around and see how things look.
PS> Is there such a thing as a magnetic oil plug for the mercedes?? Does anyone use those?