The other choices were a Boxtser, or a 911. The Boxster was a pretty rough on the freeway (due to the poor state of the local freeways). The 911 was a much, much better car. Glorious to drive. But, it comes with the stigma of driving a 911. On the road, the SLK has more than enough performance. The additional power of the 911 wouldn't be something I could use often. The SLK definitely is a car that people like, and don't associate with obnoxious drivers - I've had numerous compliments from pedestrians, and other drivers. I'd definitely make the same choice. Its one of those cars that you will drive just for the sake of it and always be looking for excuses to drive.
Performance, exterior and interior styling, hard roof, power seats and steering wheel.
The base radio is ok, not great, when the roof is down and there is freeway noise. The IR remote roof opening system is pretty pointless - you have to be standing right at the door before it works (I never use it).