I agree 100%, I owned late 80's and early 90's Mercedes for the same reason. I knew everything that could go wrong with them, and knew how to fix them because I saw it happen to everyone else first on the mailing list I was on. All in all, fairly reliable cars. The new models these days though, ugh. . .
But, paint is there for more than just looks. I have a lot of salt water around me, and it eats metal like a fat kid eats ( or I eat ) cake. I have to keep up on bare metal or I'll be driving around in a rust bucket.
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
5.2L all stock baby...