Here I am fighting the new car bug and you say how much better your '98 feels!!!
I agree with you on the rubber parts. In another post I'm trying to get a vibration taken car of at idle in drive/reverse. If we can that taken care of, then I'll start in on the suspension (struts, shocks, bushings, etc.). If vibration at idle can not be located, then I'll start looking at new (or newer) cars.
Before buying the '95 E420, I test drove a '98 E430. That car seemed "shift happy" with the 5 speed transmission. In city traffic there were many 2-3 shifts. I opted for the '95 because the ratios were abit wider, less shifting and it seemed like a smoother ride.
Since you have both, how would you compare the daily operation of the two vehicles?