Yes, overall I agree it's a fairly well made car, all things considered, with a few exceptions. Mine is a 2005 and I have not seen any issue on the door handles, even with the drivers handle being kinda dinged up from the person likely wearing rings or something to cause that - Is it possible that 05 and older are actually metal? I believe they feel metal to my untrained perception of them.... they don't seem like plastic to me. No sign of peeling at all.
I have been kind of "learning" how best to install and remove myself from the drivers seat to avoid the B pillar, and eventually I will consider replacing it as it has some wear.
It's very logical regarding the hight of the door sill and frame stiffening, that makes sense! I already ordered a replacement insert for the drivers side so I will take your suggestion on swinging my legs over and just trying to be more careful as not to break that part.
Mine has the doors that flap open in the center console where your arm rests. I believe people are putting their weight on that piece when trying to readjust their seating position, because I noticed that I automatically started doing this. I've been trying to use the dead-center of this armrest to put any eight on it as opposed to putting weight on the center of one of the flaps to try and avoid stretching the leather. It's just not as durable as the W210 armrest, but it's also an entirely different design with the flaps instead of it just opening up. I'll have it re-covered and then just try to be more careful, I think.
Can't complain with around 190k on the clock and the car, honestly still looks fairly "showroom" ISH... (I say "ish") ... I mean, it's a damn nice car for the age and all things considered.
So far, while at times I see a W210 on the road and miss it for it's interesting character, I would not go back to one given the choice. Unless maybe it were a mint E55 or something, that could be tempting, but generally speaking no, I would prefer the W211 for daily cruising and comfort.
The seats, for example, seem much more firm and much nicer because they lack the old-fashioned springy feeling that you have with older seats.
Are you sure that they are leather? Because it seems on mine the perforated inserts in the centers of the seats are in fact leather, and the outsides of the seats are actually vinyl. The leather expert that worked on my car actually told me this to confirm. The vinyl is used because it is less prone to changing from the oils in your skin and is better at dealing with it from a pH perspective, or something along those lines... in other words, the vinyl tends not to react like leather does and will stay looking "new" for a much longer period of time. I can vouch for this as my vinyl looks fantastic while the leather is beginning to see a bit of wear (not much, though)...
I will have to re-dye the perforated insert at some point (not yet!) because it is beginning to wear the dye on the perforations as I slide my butt in and out or whatever... mostly from the drivers leg, actually, probably the drivers leg action with operating the pedals - however, it's very very minor and probably will take a bit more time to be something noticeably bad looking.
In any case, leather is always easy to re-dye, not sure about "perforated" leather, though.. that could be tricky as not to get the dye into all the holes, but I'll just ask an expert on that, I guess.
Wood trim, of course has a couple of cracks here and there, but nothing that stands out and warrants replacement. Probably not much you can do about that short of removing and refinishing or replacing it.
The buttons for the drivers memory seat seem pretty bad, though. They don't work well and apparently it's a common point of failure. If I fiddle with them for a minute usually I can get them to operate correctly. It's not really a big deal if you're the only one driving the car, anyway. Once you've got it set you likely don't need to mess with this again.