Hey daddiojiggy...lighten up...Steve B's words are all too true. I'm also all for mickey mousing around with cars too but to spend the money on the correct part that just pops in just makes good sense...especially with the computer and sensored controlled cars nowadays...even more so on a Benz.
The 02 sensor on my 1992 500E was $92 at my dealer last month...your dealer obviously will vary and $175 is a plain rip-off. And as for splicing wires where water, salt or sand will undoubtedly come in contact with the connection...why bother.
As for why I read these forums...its more for honest, technologically sound, expert advice. If I wanted to particpate in HillBilly Mechanic.com....I'd be there too..although views from yourself are definitely a good laugh...thanx pimpster