I hate to resurrect and old post but, thought this could help new members who stumble upon this thread.
There will be haters of the bikesdirect bikes (Motobecane, Windsor, Dawes, Gravity etc). So to each their own. I myself have had good luck with them. If your hardcore then the the entry to mid level bikesdirect bikes may not be for you but, they do offer value especially to those who cannot afford to plunk down a couple grand or more for a bike.
The frame design and technology will be a bit behind the big names (I.e. non tapered head tubes, horst link suspension etc) so Be a smart shopper. Some of the name brand entry bikes 4-800 dollar bikes will be comparably spec but, not necessarily better. Know the difference between butted, hydra-formed, 6000 series and 7000 series aluminum. Just because a product is name brand does not mean you are getting the same geometry and material of the name brands top level or even mid - level bike.
Keep in mind there are only a few frame manufacturers in china and Taiwan where a lot of frames for the name brands are made including these. Just be a smart shopper, study frame material, geometry, component specs and know the component spec levels. know the difference between sealed bearings, precision bearings, contact bearings and caged bearings and the like. You might find out that the entry level name brand bike is lower spec'd, heavier or identical to the bikes direct bike.
The real point is to get out and ride. To ride what you can afford and have fun.