Well, not quite Max bible but one other very fat book. It's 1300 pg "3dsMax 8 Enciclopedia" in Russian
I bought it two years ago and only now decided and found strenght to really give it a go. Agree on you saying where real learning begins. I just feel like it, soooo much to learn and master how to mix all tips, tricks and tools into something. Damn, max is deep! You know, like for a moment I was thinking about keeping my skills in max on good but generic level and give a try to some new 3d app too. Now I think, F other apps (at least for now). Really want to explore it very deeply. Guess it could be called being maxocholic.
Ou, and by the way, few hours after post I discovered some more good stuff in lofting, really expands what could be done with them. Later will share some tips, may be usefull to others.