It probably depends on which Benz you are speaking of. I can get a premium spin on for my 300E without going to the dealer.
The early diesels and my new M112 engine are different animals. The early diesel filters I believe will be from one of the suppliers listed by the previous poster, regardless what box they're in. The late model I do not yet have an aftermarket choice to check out.
As far as American car filters go, there are DEFINITELY better products on the aftermarket, than those you get at the dealer.
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in