I know just what you mean. The last time I bought Maternity Panties was in 2004 when I was pg with my 1st. They were from Motherhood Maternity, and they didn't fit right, and were so shoddily made that the leg and waist elastic fell off in no time!
What I have done since, is get low-rise Plus Size. Most recently, I got Plus sized (several sizes larger than I "need") Boy Shorts ones, that have no elastic at all in the legs, because I love the comfort of DH's boxer briefs, but they aren't cut for womanly proportions, so are tight in the fanny.
It was some national cheapie brand like Hanes Her Way or something, and they are soft and comfy on the belly, plenty of stretch, no elastic to bite in the thigh crease, and I love them. Cute colors too. So I am sold, no more maternity panties!
I am also going to get plus sized soft stretchy leggings, knit pants, and sweats, again in sizes much larger, to accomodate a big waistline, as maternity pants to get me through the Maine winter comfortably in the third tri. I can't handle maternity pants with the stretchy panel, because they cut into me way down low in front, where the stretchy panel ends. If I designed them, they'd have a V-shaped stretchy panel going all the way down to the crotch, because those panels can be fine standing up, but then you sit down, and that nonstretchy part below the panel bites.
I guess my belly swells all the way down to my pubic bone.
Hope this helps for ideas to be comfortable! But yes, maternity panties are a scam IMHO.