I recently suffered alternator failure in my 420SEL. I guess 14 years and 180,000 miles was about all it could handle. While my car never died on me, had I let it go any longer it may have. I had similar symptoms, ABS light would come on and off, etc. Also, my charge light flickered on and off. The radio would come in and out and my headlights dimmed considerably. A new Alternator was like 400 bucks. Fortunately my mechanic was able to change the voltage regulator and alternator brushes (sold together for $67) that fixed things fine. On most other cars the alternator is a one piece deal made to be thrown out every few years. I'm glad Mercedes had the foresight to make ours easily rebuildable. I would have things checked out however, since your charge light never came on. There are ways to check it such as measuring the charge of the battery. I am no expert at this, but I was part of a post a few weeks ago and got some good advice. I will see if I can find it for you.
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired