If I read the original post correctly, Cap'n wanted to be talked OUT of buying this car. As the other posters have proven, this is a car for a woman.
As far as your points comparing the 2.3 to my 5.6, you are probably correct, but then again, there are probably Ford Mustangs that would beat my car off the line. I prefer mine for the ride it offers at 80-90 mph, truly unbeatable, with room for 5.
I stand behind my comments about "Buying the entry level of any model is the true sign of a wanna-be". As the owner of two of the cheapest cars MB has ever made, you illustrate my point. I prefer driving the flagship, even if I have to wait until it has depreciated to the point that I can afford it.
Sorry if this seems a little aggressive, but hey, I was only trying to talk Cap'n out of buying the little girl toy, and then you had to go start something.