What must not be forgotten is that the members on this board represent a very small minority of the automotive public. The people here are people that buy cars based on longetivity and drive them for 20 years.
MB's central marketing tactics are not engineered for the people on this board. There is a huge pressure to build cars to a cost. Remember that the person spending $50,000 is probably going to trade the car in after the warranty expires. To this person, failures do not matter, they are taken car of for free, and a new car is acquired in four years. People also want maintenance-free cars. Come on, 10,000 miles between oil changes with regular dino-juice, that was probably a bad idea. No transmission fluid changes ever needed, surely it has to get dirty at some point in time no matter how resistant the fluid is to heat breakdown.
It is my opinion that a great majority of MB's customers want low-maintenance cars, and MB is trying to satisfy those people.
They are, however, still great cars. It doesn't look like they are leaving people stranded, it is just a matter of failures with overly-complex gizmos.