Check to see if you have path constraint set as a default. If you do, when you create an object, it will make world space the path and will be created at point 0,0,0.
Go into the motion panel and look at the position controls of the object. If it is set at path constraint, simply click on the '?' and select position xyz and then click the 'make default' button. This should fix the problem.
this should have worked but alas, i gave it a try and found out my position was already set to default 'xyz' so this is not the solution in my case... i also tried to uninstall max completely and reinstalled it but still no good...
is there another option that might fix this problem???