IMO, they are just fine, and due to the collective hatred of them, they *should* be the way to make a bargain entry into the Leica M world. However, they are NOT actually a bargain. They are ridiculously overpriced in my experience. The M3 and M2 (and M1 if all you need to do is zone focus) are the bargains of the system (if you don't count non-Leica bodies).
I bought my M5 from KEH for $800 three years ago.
When I dropped my M3 the same year, my insurance company covered it's replacement cost at $1600.
That said, I'd say the M5 is a VERY affordable entry into Leica M photography.