I agree that the combo brad/stapler nailers do mar the surface a bit.
I have found that by holding the nailer on an ever so slight angle that
I can avoid any marring of the surface and that's my "work around" to
the situation. I have a Sears Craftsman model that I picked up a
number of years back and it has worked trouble free through many uses
over the years. I have only used it once as a stapler (carpet up a
stairs) and it certainly met my expectations. With everything made in
China nowadays, the Harbor Freight specials might not be any different
than any of the products from the big name manufacturers out there.
However, I still like to believe that you get what you pay for.