Just to be clear, even though Maya crashes on me every once in a while it doesn't mean that it's a terrible piece of software.
On the contrary, it's probably the most stable 3D packages I've ever used.
Animation Master... now that's a crappy piece of software!
Crashing every 15 seconds to make this (I did the mouse cursor in Flash afterward)
Compared to this, in which I had no crashes at all
So is it a pain in the butt when maya crashes? Sure is! But there are far worse options out there. In fact, I dare say that Maya is actually pretty fun once you get used to it, especially for animation