I am capable of doing most of the maintainence myself on these cars. I completely rebuilt the motor in my 190e (except for machining, all work was done by me). I also just finished rebuilding the motor in my 94 Nissan Pathfinder. I am not a professional mechanic, but I have a very well eqipped garage and access to prefessionals. I still use an indy shop for the "have to have done it before to get it right" stuff. I thought I was totally hooked on getting a 560SEL .. because it is the flagship, but I think the 420 is just fine for me. I will put the $6000 in the bank and use it to repair the 420 as needed. I do plan to jhave the car for a couple years.. and will not be driving it in the winter unless it is a nice day.
Thansk for all the input!