My tongue is not as sensitive as yours, but I prefered the EC over MM because it had more character, I have not tried other bourbons.
Which reasonably priced brand would you recommend?
Yes but EC is aged 12 yo and MM is not. That makes a big difference in the flavor complexity. Also MM is a different bourbon because it is wheat based.
As for the budget bourbons I like Four Roses Yellow Label and Evan Williams. A bit higher in pricing I cannot say I don't like Maker's Mark and I definitely like Four Roses Single Barrel.