I just bought my Maxum in August, I too had heard these sayings about Maxum Boats, and also about Bayliners being "junk boats"... Before I bought my boat I had a survey done and asked the surveyor about my concerns, in a nutshell he said that in the 30 years he has been doing surveys he RARELY had a bayliner that surveyed badly, and the ones that did were simply neglected to the point of there demise! I'm not sure you are aware of the fact that Bayliner and Maxum Boats are/were a part of the " Brunswick Boat Group" This company also owns some other Boat Builders you might have heard of..... "Boston Whaler, Sea Ray....etc...etc" It's the same as General Motors having the Chevrolet vs Cadillac lines.... are the Cadillacs a more prestige brand? Maybe, but is it any more solidly built or reliable? Not Necessarily..... It's all about the options you can get or that you want to pay for and yes a lot of it is about paying for a name! I also have a Welcraft Scarab and I have always done all my own maintenance and mechanics, and I can tell you that my Maxum has the same Mercruiser parts in it that ALL other boats that use Mercruiser parts have in them, and that's a fact! The Bayliner Line was created to make quality boating available to everyone, just like any other manufacturer they've had some lemons thru the years but all in all they make a dependable product, and their Maxum Line just stepped up the game a bit to try to get a more polished line out to compete with the higher end manufactures! Will the "Searay" guys always think there boats are superior....of course, but they also paid about twice as much for the same boat that they will get the exact same enjoyment out of that I will in my Maxum.
So my advice would be, if you like the boat, have a survey done on it and be there to ask him some questions, make sure it will be mechanically dependable and if it is buy it and have fun..... You won't regret it!