Suction is recommended at least from 1981
The oldest MB Maintenance Manual I have handy is for 1981.
In section 0101.05 it refers to suctioning oil out of the engine or, if no suction is available, to remove the drain plug.
When I replaced the oil pan gasket on my 1983 300SD the other day, I first suctioned out the oil using the Topsider, with a slash cut tip on the Topsider suction tube which is inserted in the dip stick tube. On removal, the oil pan contained approx. 4 fl. ozs. of oil after suctioning.
Suctioning then, at least for the 1981 through 1991 cars:
1 - Is recommended by the manufacturer
2 - Is efficient
3 - Is not messy
I have done, maybe, sixty oil changes with the Topsider. MBDad777 has come up with an elegant variation on that theme and deserves to be congratulated.
I also use suctioning on the wife's 1999 E320 Wagon, change oil every 2,500 miles or 3 months, and disregard the FSS system. That way, even if the odometer fails, passage of time reminds me to change the oil. Foolproof, unless the Earth stops rotating.
Sadly, the oil filter in the 107 cars has to be removed from below, which takes away much of the advantage of the Topsider approach. However, on the OM617 diesel, 420/560SEL M117 and in-line six in the modern E class (M220?) engine with their top mounted oil filters, the process can (almost) be done in your tuxedo before a good night out.
Suctioning is also great on the transmission oil - you can remove most of it before removing the transmission oil pan, minimizing spills.