I haven't seen much change in agencies, I don't know that LATELY matters much. Your own experience may vary from any reports here as every agency has its fans, yes, even Aureus. No sign that Aureus is one smidge better than horrible, AM is still the world's largest travel company with multiple brands all presenting different flavors to a traveler but the same assignments, Freedom is still small and still well thought of, Talemed I don't know much about.
TaleMed is terrible. I did my first ever travel assignment through them and would not go with them ever again. My housing was an extended stay hotel that was disgusting, and no one did much to find me better housing, my recruiter did not give me very much personal attention (for example, he never checked to make sure that I arrived in Texas, if I found the hospital or how it was going) which was very important to me considering I was a first time traveler. Not only that but I had to haggle with the company on more than a few occasions to get paid bonuses I was promised and to be reimbursed for titer testing. I am with Parallon now, and have been very happy with them, but they only can contract you to HCA hospitals.
Each company needs to be tailored to your likes and what you desire for their services. I work for Medical Solutions, my recruiter and I have a great working relationship. We have been together 3+ years now and several places. I have worked for several other companies but only short term. I desire to be able to speak with the recruiter whenever I need to (During work days M-F) and someone on call if absolutely necessary. If there is a situation that needs addressed, I trust that WE can do it together. I am an older nurse and like to work out situations if possible between myself the the problem but if I get frustrated I can rely on help. I also look at the contracts, where I want to go, pay I feel is adequate, housing to what I need, stipends and shifts. I do not do the insurance (dental or medical) but have the 401K since my husband has the health insurance for us but that is something else to see how they cover and what they cover. I hope this helps. I don't like impersonal, large companies where I am a number and feel insignificant except when it is time to resign a new contract.