I have an infatuation with my car. In one year of ownership, I have had to replace the water pump for $700, rather an expensive water pump, but not that bad in the big picture of a 7-8 year old MB. The PO had had my wiring harness replaced under warranty. I have no oil seepage anywhere, including the right rear. I understand this is a problem on many of the 124s.
My car is solid as a rock. No squeaks or rattles after 71,000 miles. The value of this car compared to any other $30,000 new car on the market is immense. My Porsche buddy and I test drove the new E500 at Mercedes "e-motion" event. His comment was that the new car just did not feel as solid as mine. This is comparing a sedan with a fixed roof to a convertible! These cars will be a collector item some day. I'm keeping mine. If you can find one well maintained and relatively low miles, it will be worth over $30k. Don't be wary of the grinch.