Thank you, Deanyel and Cap'n
Today was a cold morning and the motor stumbled through the cold start. It caught in a lumpy sort-of way, in about 4-5 seconds of cranking, but evened out to the high warm up idle speed without problems.
Still, the lumpy cold start behaviour is a relatively new development, and now that I think about it, the car began to gradually develop that condition over the last few months. I originally thought: "plugs, cap, rotor."
I guess the progressively lumpier starts condition coincides with the progressively failing Fuel Pressure Regulator.
Aside from this, I am curious about one more thing - the vacuum line from the FPR and the diaphragm it controls: I've read posts where people say the vaccum line is merely a vent. From my limited knowledge of MB Fuel systems, I would have concluded that the vaccum line controls a diaphragm, under which a spring mounted valve of some sort operates inside the FPR.
One thing is clear - fuel should not make its way into that vaccum line, but if it does, the FPR is failing (or failed) and the fuel might end up in the crankcase.
Finally, I am wondering if a high Fuel Tank pressure (you know - a nice big pressure puff when the gas cap is removed) can cause or contribute to the failed diapragm in the FPR.