Thanks again for the sage advice (especially to David, for the addition to Aaron's checklist).
As for maintenance records, what should I expect? One of you mentioned the official maintenance books; should I look for one of these to be carefully filled in for each service? Should I expect a perfectly complete record for the life of the car?
I'll certainly report back on what I find, though I intend to take my time and find just the right car. But I do look forward to joining the club of satisfied MB owners.