I'm driving a 1998 210 chassis as well. It has 53K miles currently. I'll second everything John has written. My car has the diesel engine, and it's required a few repairs over the years. Based on reading this site, and others, for several years, the only problem I've ever heard of on the gasoline V6 is a few harmonic balancer problems. And it's an inexpensive and easy fix if caught before it completely fails.
In terms of the chassis, my car has required exactly one repair thus far - the CD changer croaked and was replaced. Everything else still works like the day it was new. Everything else is great. The A/C is among the best of any car I've ever experienced, and it gets lots of use here in Texas.
Suspension bushings may be a bit short lived on this car, but that's not a problem that will leave you on the side of the road. Nor is it all that expensive to repair.
A Lexus appears to be more expensive to own than an equivalent MB, simply because it depreciates much, much faster. Depreciation is the most significant ownership cost of an automobile.