A good thing would be to get hold of some demo versions of the different programs and see how they fit your personal style / workflow.
I am using 3dsMAX myself, (including Brazil for rendering).
Max is a good solid package.
Maya is an exellent choice too, especially if you want to do organic modelling.
Have a look at some pictures/models that you think are cool, an find out what package they where made in, that will give you an idea of what you can achieve too.