The lowest end models are junk,the high end ones are nice. Had one of the ti cross bikes,was my favorite until it was stolen.
Note that bikesdirect is descriptive;you get the bike straight from the manufacturer just like a shop would. Everything needs final adjustment,including the wheels which will need to be tensioned and trued. If you know how to work on bikes,they're a good buy. If not,make sure a decent shop puts it together for you. Also note that unlike a bike shop bike,you must deal with shipment issues. If the bike arrives damaged,you'll have to suss out the issues with the carrier. Also BD won't cover a derailleur hanger damaged in shipment,you'll need to buy a new one.
Basically,they're like anything else on eBay.
C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L
I have a Motobecane, but it was made in France circa 1975, and is a fine touring frame made of double butted Reynolds 531, with 531 forks and stays, and Campy mechanical bits. Probably not what you were asking about.
I have a Motobecane Road Bike I purchased from Bikes Direct 2 years ago, Great Bike, paid $1600. B.D. said the bike is equal to a Trek 5,2, Could not afford the Trek, $3200. Very happy with the Motobecane!
My brother-in-law has the Motobecane Elite Adventure and has had good luck with it. He had to adjust a few things but seems to ride just fine now. For the $399 shipped he paid he received a bike with pretty good components(Deore/Disc Brakes/Lock-out fork). It's kind of a dual sport bike. It actually had geometry close to the Specialized Crosstrail. Here are the two links to each of the bikes. I posted the Specialized that matches the components the closest and it shows an MSRP of $990. I think the price makes it a great deal for someone wanting to get into cycling but doesn't want to drop that much money. Only down side is that resale may not be as great as it would be with a brand name bike. Name brand hybrids in the $400-$1000 price range seem to really hold their value according to what I see people posting on Craigslist.