There is very little processing of maple sugar--they just crystalize the syrup--so it's much closer to its natural form than cane sugar. It is also renewable--I mean, how cool that it comes from a tree! Maple is also high in minerals, so it doesn't deplete yours like cane sugar does. This is one of the worst things about processed cane sugar: it leaches vitamins & minerals from your blood & bones. It spikes blood sugar levels, which causes a whole slew of unpleasant symptoms & also contributes to insulin resistance. It has also been linked to cancer because as your blood sugar level sky rockets, excess insulin is produced, which can promote the growth of certain cancer cells. Cane sugar--even less processed versions like evaporated cane juice, turbinado, etc--is addictive. Oh, & it makes you fat; refined sugars convert to fat in the body. I know Maple Sugar is expensive, but it has made desserts more decadent & special, because I can't make them all of the time. Also, brown rice syrup is often easily to substitute in recipes.
I found coconut palm sugar and have used it in place of maple sugar. It's got a lower glycemic index and is supposed to keep away blood sugar spikes. It's not very expensive either. I can't remember exactly how much it cost, but I think it was around the same price as organic cane sugar, definitely not expensive like maple sugar!