the ML's are nice consoles but i wouldnt buy one for recording unless you could pick it up extermly cheep. they are made to be live consoles and being VCA based makes them more expencive. I certainly wouldnt have any hesitation using the direct outs for a live recording but for a recording console i think the money could be better spent. you could set up an entire low end studio for the price of an ML
what are you actually recording?
for a good mid sized console i would look at a Midas Venice 320 (under half the price of the ML3000) and put the rest into monitors, mics, and room treatment