So now you make me wonder what are you personal preferences DF.
You choose no oil stains over 0.001sec faster at green light, or what?
Since you asked... Basically what you state, even though the MB I bought had the highest mileage of any of the actual cars I looked at and drove.
I quickly eliminated the Volvos V70s and Saab900s (and the one Audi TT I looked at). It came down to a particular 2003 BMW 330ci with 72K verified miles and a 2003 CLK320 with 102K verified miles. Full documentation was available on each. The BMW was a one-owner which was being sold by the original dealer. The CLK was a two-owner, originally based in Arizona and owned by the second owner since 2007.
Why did I prefer the higher mileage CLK with one more owner ?
--Speed did not matter, comfort did. The CLK front seats were more comfortable, an important fact for both my wife and I, since both of us have back problems.
--Fit and finish mattered. Despite the fact that the car appeared "mint" at first, the BMW had a variety of trim pieces missing and/or misaligned. In addition, despite continuous maintenance & low mileage, a number of things were clearly in "trouble"--electrical glitches, an exhaust system that was failing, oil leaks (dealers don't expect you to back out of a parking space, stop, and examine the space you just vacated). In the CLK, everything worked, no missing pieces, no misaligned trim, no boisterous exhaust note, no fluid leaks. The 040 black paint was not hazed, missing clearcoat, showing swirls, resprayed, or faulty in any other way.
--Price didn't matter. Both were in the "range".
--The driving experience mattered a lot. The 330ci and the CLK were within several hundred pounds of each other. The BMW was quicker and did handle a little bit better that the CLK. I was fortunate to be able to drive both vehicles on the same stretch of highway (GA400) on successive nights. At some point while driving the CLK, it seemed to.....hard to describe.....settle down and assume a solid assured stance while requiring only small inputs of steering, acceleration and braking to "stay up" with traffic. It felt solid and safe, a situation that the BMW never attained.
--This led me to look at additional examples of CLKs, mostly 320s, but including one 430. I came back and bought the first one I had driven. It was the best maintained by far and I do not regret it in the least.
PS--I've been seriously considering a W123 as a "daily driver", I "prefer" the brand that much. --cgc--