The 88 is a fair deal, I love mine. I prefer the safety placement compared to its brother's mossberg 500.
As for your question about nova vs 88, nova is smoother in action, more sofisticated and advanced. But for an average shooter, the maverick will do the job quite equaly. Lot of guys in our practical shooting matches prefer the benelli pump model and happens to be the more experienced once, I try to catch up with my baby.