It sounds like you had some bad experiences with taurus, sable cars. There are a lot of junk ones out there and yes, the engineering is not near that of an MB. My own experience with my Sable is that I bought it with 77k miles on it. It now has 125k and all I have done is brakes (really cheap if done on your own) and a couple minor electrical fixes ($150). The car runs great so far.
Very important if anyone considers one of these is to get the Duratec 24valve engine. The other engine is junk and probably the one that you had trouble with. Anyway, sorry to stray away on boring cars.