This is really anecdotal but it's a question that can really be only answered with anecdotes. From everything I've experienced and everyone I've talked to it seems like modeling is much more suited to 3ds max.
Maya's workflow is pretty clunky and it's tougher to navigate. 3ds max has a great system set up for nonlinear modeling. The modifier stack works much better than maya's attributes. In maya, even knowing where things are, it's hard to work efficiently because they feel the need to put everything under menus and submenus whereas in max all of the basic tools are under one modifier.
Really maya needs a UI redesign to be a good modeling tool and they will just not do it. It's impossible to work with for modeling (and nurbs, it's only real advantage, are useless anyways). I'll admit I like a lot of maya's options for rendering better (and without a doubt it's a better animation tool) but it's just so goddamn clunky in general that the only time I bother using it is to render a huge assignment on my school's farm. Of course 3ds has faults to but it seems that the industry consensus is that of the two, 3ds max is better for straight up modeling.