hehe, who said swish?? that has nothing ot do with 3d, perhaps your thinking of swift 3d?
Ive been using 3ds max for about 9 months, prob less, and ive gotten pretty good with it. It does cost a bundle but it will pay out if you actually stick with it and produce top-notch models. And to the guy who posted above me, those "recommendations" are very very high. I have a 551mhz P3 with 256mb RAM, it works fine until you get past around 1 million polygons (if you get into 3d you will understand how many that is, and unless u are doing a huge scene then how hard it is to go past) I mean true, its better to have a better comp, but im just saying you dont need all the fancy new comps these days =D "hyper threading" Hah!
Now if you want to get your 3d animation into flash you will need to use swift 3d. That will export your animation and make it into a .swf . However for some reason swift does not know how to compute "textures". Textures are things that are very detailed, think of one as a rug, instead of showing all the little threads and dirt and things swift will only show the base color (meaning only one color).
If you wanna have someone to talk 3d with aim me sometime if u have aim..... im urnoarmedfriend