One other thing...
I know that the person who started the thread already has a 300E, but Mike's note about the car in San Diego reminds me of another point. I need to be delicate about this because it may SEEM, although it is not meant to be, somewhat insensitive about some of those who might buy one new and then later want to sell. That said....
I have found that if you are interested in buying a used Benz and are extremely patient, you can eventually find a good to excellent example at a ridiculously low price. My 300E, for example, was previously owned by an older couple who kept it as their second car at their second home in San Francisco. They rarely drove it, but maintained it religiously. When one of them became unable to drive, they realized they didn't need 2 Benzes in the house and decided to sell one. I took a look at the car, looked at the service records as provided by the tech who maintained it (who also maintained the 300D I had at the time) and discussed it with the tech and on a lark offered less than 75% of their asking price, which itself was more than reasonable. No negotiation has ever ended sooner and I had the car later that afternoon. They obviously were unconcerned about the money. A friend of mine recently purchased a 300TE in unbelievable condition with around 30K for $1500! The person who owned it was no longer able to drive and simply didn't need the car or the money. The person who bought it was simply patient. Sort of like employment...if you're desperate, you won't get hired. If you can wait, the job offers come to you.
I think you can see the pattern of what I'm saying. Since that sort of purchase can be made of such a wonderful piece of automotive technology, it amplifies my point that a good purchase of a good example of a used Benz, in my view, is almost always better than the purchase of a new domestic or most other import. Less expensive, better design and execution and simply more fun to drive.
I will agree with Jim on one thing. We take my wife's car on ski trips. Not mine. And I do tend to use my beat-up pickup for running to the grocery store. But maybe that's because the dogs like to go too...
2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2002 BMW E39 530i Sport
1988 Mercedes 300TE
2003 Chevrolet Suburban