The CE was introduced in 88. I have one with 125k miles on it. They are very reliable. They are quick (much quicker than the 2.3), but the earlier Mercedes models have that dead pedal feel. They'll keep up with anything once in motion.
You should look into the 24 valve models or the 92+ that have the 104 engine, like the one in a C280. However, I doubt that you'll find one under 13k with low mileage.
I recently sold my 90 300E with 65k miles on it for $12k.
They have excellent handling abilities. Especially if you do some mods like springs and wider rims.
I want to post pictures of my CE, but I recently sold my 17" chrome Monoblock II rims. Stay away from chrome, doesn't last. Anyway, the car looks kinda weird with the aero kit and stock rims. I'll post some pics when I get my new rims.
Good luck with the car hunt,
[Edited by vinamg on 01-14-2001 at 09:56 PM]