Well, I would say some concerns are valid. Some of the early Matrices had quality problems, and I wouldn't rate the current QA as best in class. Many of the ones for sale on the used market are the original stock or LE models that are not, IMHO, in the best of shape. There are a bunch of o-rings that need some care, and the assy/disassy is not the most intuitive thing I have ever done.
That said, with a bolt kit and LPR, it is the sweetest, fastest, softest, and most accurate marker that I have ever shot. Absolutely, wonderful.
So, to start, the maintenance is not as painful as many would have you believe. With the instructions (FAQ, Support pages, etc.) from the Aardvarkdirect site, it all makes perfect sense. Plus, there are a lot of dedicated 'trix owners online to help in case of crisis. My suggestion is buy a new stock unit, get a bolt kit and LPR from Aardvark, and read the online documentation. Others may have different opinions about how to buy a gun, but check out your options. Watch the animated GIF of a working Matrix and understand what part of the bolt replaces a RAM, what the Top Hat does, how the air flows through the bolt without a dedicated hammer, etc. Watch it till you drop. Search through the older articles at PBnation and at Aardvarkdirect. Learn the gun. It isn't rocket science. Once you know the gun, working on it isn’t as daunting as it may seem now. Learn the gun…
As for why people steer you away... my thoughts are twofold. One, people don't understand how it works, hear a bunch of crap, and regurgitate that crap without conscious thought. “It is a gas pig… It breaks all the time… It has 40 o-rings that break every 5 minutes… You will be replacing o-rings 20 times a day… “ This from people who have never even seen one, much less shot one. They should know better. The second reason is tradition. Most stores carry and sell Tippmanns (sp?), Spyders, maybe Mags, probably Cockers, with an occasional Angel thrown in. The Matrix is new, doesn’t have the sales force of some lines, and most stores are brand loyal. So, the Matrix isn’t carried. And, if it isn’t carried, why is a store owner/salesdroid going to steer you to buy something somewhere else. Everyone knows that a Tippmann/Spyder/Cocker/Mag/<whatever sold here> is the best gun by far. "Why would you want that POC? It is a gas hog… It breaks all the time…" Catch the drift…
Also, I think some people fear the Matrix for several reasons, IMHO. It is new. Fast. Silent. Deadly accurate (with the right barrel). It is a disruption in their space/time continuum. They are about to have their perception of reality recalibrated. That Spyder TL Plus isn't just a generation behind, it is now a order of magnitude behind.
It is fundamentally a better design than any other gun on the market. So, the prized Works Cocker that someone just dropped $800 is now second best. Or, an Angel, or a Emag, or… People in every sport go through this, just look in golf (Callaway v. Titlest v. XYZ), SCUBA (DIR or PADI/NAUI), etc. No one wants to admit the POC they just purchased is second rate; “Hey, I bought it, so it must be the best”. Change is difficult, and the margin is sometimes very thin.
I love the looks mine gets. Half recoil in disgust/fear/loathing/uncertainty, etc. The other half want to ask to shoot it J
The flip side is that while I think the Matrix is the best option, at this 5 minutes in time (BTW, I voted with my checkbook, FWIW), there are some really good markers on the market that are close. The Timmy, eMags (one of which I am drooling after…), Impulse, Angels, etc. are really good. If you rebuild one (similar to rebuilding the Matrix with bolt kit, etc.), almost any gun can be quiet, accurate, fast, etc. It depends on the love and attention you pay.
I would also add that the Matrix we own and love is really a Version 1.0 product. Remember the original MS Windows? First rev of Oracle? The first model year of any newly designed car? They are learning to make it. Each year will bring enhancements; think that it is 2-4 years behind the Angels in QA, production, design execution. It should only get better...
If not, the next generation Timmy or eMag will blow it out of the water, we will all be reading different forums, and the Matrix will be spoken of in the same hushed tones as the Lisa or the Amiga