I think the T/C Venture Weatherby Vanguard, and the Remington SPS are all better guns than the marlin. If you are gonna spend the money for the marlin why not add 150 bucks and get a really good rifle. All of the ones I listed can be had for under 500 dollars.
An extra $150 is almost half again the cost of the Marlin. Sure, you can get a nicer rifle for more money, but some people have budgets to keep.
I'd rather have a Marlin and a Leupold scope than a Venture/Vanguard/SPS with a cheap scope for the same money.