My take on Grizzly is that the farther up the food chain you go the better the quality of the machines. At least this was the case when I visited Griz to buy my drill press. I stopped buy the store in PA to get a look see before laying out cash and ended up getting a more expensive machine due to the obvious quality issues of the lower cost units.
It is a case of you get what you pay for. The drill press I got is very nice and I can't honestlly complain about it. Well other than the reality that it is bigger than what I thought I needed initially. So I ended up paying about $150 more than expected.
So my first recommendation is to visit a Griz store.
I did look a bit at the mills and I have to say that I believe the same point applies. That is pay more and get better quality. This shouldn't be a huge surprise.
As to brands I'm not willing to reccomend anything other than a Bridgeport. There are certianly bargains to be had but I simply don't have experience with them. The other issue is that the manufacture for the brands may change. Contrary to popular belief they don't all come out of the same factory.
Personally if I where to go the import route I'd go with a larger vendor, with a good reputation, that has the capability to stand behind the product. Griz gets good reports in this respect, that is customer support. What you really need though is for the vendor to specify the tolerance of the machine up front. That is squareness of the X&Y, spindle runout and such - basically the whole ball of wax. If they can publish specs then there is atleast some hope that the machine is being built to a reasonable quality standard.