Well as an opinion it’s not so much the application but what a application can do with the least amount of fussing around and hate to say it but Max and Maya are on the top of the list even if you have to buy into an application that has tools that you don’t really need.
After that if you want to do it on the cheap there is general always some form of work around,if you are the kind of person who does not frustrate easily, that would get the job done if time is not a factor as after all your only really buying time saving.
Take for example.
Inexpensive price and at times made available for free.
Intuitive tools and workflow similar to Max and Maya.
Does not support smoothing groups as smoothing is accomplished through tessellation.
Does not have direct FBX support.
Although it lacks a few key features it is a good choice when compared to Blender that does require workarounds where the one needed for a true to spec FBX support is not available.
The key to it all though, in my opinion, is not what the tool does but what does it offer as a bridge between one application and another and 99% of the time the first thing I look for is up to date FBX support which is not “just” another file format ( a different story).
Now if you want to level up a bit here is another good choice.
An assumption on my part is since your paying a fair price it would only be fair that Carrara had an up to date FBX support and would be the one thing you would need to check out on your own. If it does and works with the brand spanking new UE4 engine then you golden.
Now working still in my world of opinion as in it’s just not about the tools.
In my experience most 3D artists will gravitate towards their own personal development pipeline as to fit things in as to a finished result so an interesting tool to add to the pipeline.
Not a toy or a modeling tool but a very good application for asset manipulation based on parametric values with the ability to manage and catalog all of your assets in a single place. If there was a bridge between DS and UE4 you would not even need a content browser built into UE.
All that just to say that my opinion is to say don’t be to quick to chose a tool because it’s cheap or free but rather question if the tool likes to play nice with all of the other tools in your tool box.
And as a last bullet point don’t even try to compare anything to Maya or Max as you will not find a 1-1 replacement at bargain prices and you can only compare between the two of them. Be better to compare with Blender as to usability.