I've been through this. I thought that since they termed these as struts, they would require spring compressors, etc. However, since the spring is not surrounding the shock, it turned out to be a relative piece o' cake.
It's been awhile since I put them on, but all you really need are wrenches and a floor jack.
As for brand, it's difficult to go wrong with Bilstein's, although the KYB's are not bad.
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in