I started out with a MaxNC. I was thrilled to be able to cut a pattern from my Rhino files, and the Max allowed me to do that, in soft woods and wax. But when I got better at this, and more demanding of my machinery, the shortcomings of the MaxNC became plainer, especially when I got a Taig to compare it to. The differences aren't apparent in a web picture, but they add up, especially when you want to cut harder materials, like metal.
For example, the MaxNC, although it has anti-backlash nuts, ends up having considerable end play, due to the fact that there are no bearings holding the screws in place. The bearings in the motors have to do that, although they weren't designed for it. The stepper motors are hung onto the all-aluminum frame by only two screws, which allows for some flex that shouldn't be there. Soon after starting to use it, the thin layer of decorative blue anodizing wears away on the alumunum slides, and the raw aluminum starts to gall. The plastic anti-backlash nuts tend to break, and the 1/4" screws tend to bend in use. Expect about a month's worth of life out of the cheap Dayton spindle motor (mounted insecurely on a few spindly posts) before it burns up - and don't store anything flammable above it. The big selling point for the MaxNC CL was the closed loop stepper system, which shuts down the mill if it gets too far off course. But now that Taig has a better version of the same basic thing, and considering that the price is about the same, there's really no reason to buy a MaxNC, in my opinion. Of course it has its fans as well as detractors; maybe we'll hear from some of them in this thread.
There's no particular advantage to buying them from the manufacturer as opposed to an established dealer (Ebay buyers always have to be careful, though). I've heard MaxNC recently changed ownership, so their infamous customer support may have improved...