I have shot for Martin Archery for several years along with Ross Archery. I have owned several Mathews bows and currentlly shoot Bowtech's. I bring this up for one reason, I am not driven by the name on the bow, only in how the bow shoots and feels to me. That being said, Martin Archery is one of the most underated manufactures on the market. Their Pro series bows for the dollar are hard to beat. Fast, quiet, shock free and reasonably priced.
On the other hand, currently Bowtech has the Assassin on the market fully equipped and ready to hunt for under $600. Includes the bow, rest, sight and quiver. It is light weight, extreamlly fast, smooth and very solid in the hand when shot. Dollar for dollar you will not find a better outfit to shoot.
Now, don't take my word for it, go to your local pro shop shoot as many bows as you can then begin to weed em out and select the one that feels best to you. Don't take your buddies word for it, he has already formed his opinion, don't take the pro shops word for it, their goal is to sell you a bow, shoot em and figure out for yourself what is best for you.