I have the M12, which is the extended version of the M8. The M-series by Soundcraft not only has a great sound, the features and built quality are also top notch. The preamps are derived from the Ghost console, and the desk has a very good noise to signal ratio. Also, the eq and overdriving (of the inputs) sounds a lot better than on the Mackie VLZ series. It has a few unique features in its price class: a digital output and peak leds next (next to signal leds) for every channel.
Here come the downsides: the stereo channels lack mid eq, aux returns are rca plugs and auxes are either fixed pre or post. I would have preferred 4 extra full featured mono channels instead of the stereo ones (that lack a lot of features).
All in all, a very good desk for the money. Well worth a look, I recommend it above the Mackie VLZ series if you don't need that many mono channels, for I think it has a better sound. This is one of the less expensive 'Spirit' desks that comes pretty close to the real 'Soundcraft' sound.