Re: "he MAX is probably no worse than the previous 737 NG model in this respect"
The MAX is probably no worse than the NG in thrust-pitch coupling, as it's engines produce similar thrust levels roughly the same vertical distance below the wing as the NG. You are describing the aerodynamic effects of the bigger engines, which is definitely worse on the MAX. However, you are describing a pitch unstable or divergent aircraft at high AoA, as common with most current technical discussions. If true it's terrible and the MAX should not have been certified at all no matter good MCAS is...under certification rules the aircraft must still be able to be safely flown and landed without augmentation. It's more likely (but not known) that the MAX is less stable (not unstable) at high AoA, so it gets easier to pull through at high AoA but won't pitch up by itself at constant yoke input. In some ways this makes the bad implementation of MCAS worse, as it presents a lethal risk to solve a less critical deficiency.