For budgetary concerns, I'd buy a 1994-1995 W124 chassis E420. You can get a good one from about $15,000 pivate party to about $19,000 from a Mercedes dealer with a Starmark Warranty.
In the W210 chassis, 1997 was the only year of the E420. It was not offered in 1996. In 1998, MB offered the E430, and it was a different engine (M113), whereas the 1994-1995 E420 and the 1997 E420 used the same M119 engine.
MB also sold the 1997 E420 as a sportline model, too.
2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".