I like two types of cars - Japanese and German stuff. Bought my 2001 E55 AMG as a beater, complete with rust as a high km rebuild from Ontario - cheap, covered in cancerous sores and hiding a dark past. Runs A1 though, no turbos or superchargers to go wrong and so much more fun on dry pavement than pretty much anything with 4 tires could be while moving. I drive an ancient Rav4 in winter.
I had a specific mindset when I bought this car - no worrying about expensive perfection, I'm letting the parts fall off slowly. To me, this car is like driving a shark in traffic, I generally idle it on my 17.8 km commute and get 9.8 litres/100 km in town. I have managed 7.7 litres/100 km on the open road which translates to 37 mpg in a car with 349 hp, yuk yuk!
The 5 speed slapshift transmission in this car is the same as in the much more porky Maybach. It's good to go. I run factory synthetic and enjoy 15,000 km oil changes but flushed the transmission as a precaution when I bought my beater at 230,000 km. I'm at 266K now. Don't think I needed to, it was precautionary just in case.
I've had many cars and like Benzes mainly because of their reputation for durability and safety. My cousin figures the E55 Benz is the car that killed the American muscle car. I simply consider this car a 4 door Corvette.
I would buy another (in better physical condition) one in a heartbeat, despite the occasional European electrical quirks. This car (being the sport model) is at least twice as much fun as a Lexus. If you just want an E class, don't overlook the Lexus on the used market!