It's true. Many Bikesdirect bicycles arrive at the front door hastily assembled and with less then perfect components and parts. And it's also true that they're a lot less expensive then what you'll find at a lbs.
My Dawes arrived last summer needing to have the wheels true and all the cables needed to be fined tuned. I expected that and I took care of it myself.
the one and only thing about the bike that bugged me was the tires that came with it. Huge 700/28 with wide red sidwalls. The rear tire was molded wrong or something. The tread was lopsided and I couldn't get the bead to set in the rim just right. It was out of round and on a smooth path I could feel it hop up and down.then I replaced them with a cheap pair from performance bike, less then twelve bucks each. Thinner 25c and plain black.
Wow! What a difference! The Dawes doesn't look as flashy but it rides ten times better now.