It looks cool, but it did really start the "meaningless battle" trend of the PT. I think the best PT duel were the ones involving Dooku, because there was dialogue (not the best, but still). Maul didn't speak, so there was no emotion in the duel (until after he killed Qui-Gon, and then you can feel Obi-Wan's anger as he attacks Maul), it was just a fight between the good guys and the bad guy; whereas with Dooku, you as a viewer could dislike him because he taunted the heroes like Vader taunted Luke. Most of the PT fights just seemed to be fighting for the sake of fighting.
A MUCH stronger duel, in my opinion, would have had Maul focus on Obi-Wan, being the younger and thus weaker of his opposition. Make him doubt himself, and have Qui-Gon reassuring him. Make the fight be Qui-Gon versus Maul for Obi-Wan's soul. It makes Qui-Gon look like a capable, confident master of the Force, develops Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's relationship, and makes Maul a sneaky, underhanded jerk we don't like. We're so invested in Obi-Wan's wavering alignment that we're shocked when Qui-Gon dies.
After Qui-Gon dies I would have included Maul taunting Obi-Wan about how he skewered Qui-Gon like a helpless child, have him portend the fall of the Republic under his master's plan, have him close his eyes like Palpatine on the second Death Star (it's like poetry) and comment on how he can feel Obi-Wan's anger, and how only Obi-Wan's hatred could destroy him. Maybe have him tease Obi-Wan about his feelings for his master. Make us afraid for Obi-Wan, who was already wavering on the edge of the dark side before, and make us hate Maul, too. Develop what was a criminally underused character. Then it worries us when we see Obi-Wan burst out of the gate to attack Maul, has he fallen? Did Maul turn him? When Obi-Wan falls down the shaft defeated, take a moment to have Qui-Gon (who we know transcended into the Force) communicate with Obi-Wan, to remember his training, that he believes in him, and that the Force will be with him, always (more poetry).
I dunno. That's my two cents.
Of course this all has EU explanations where there are two distinct Sith fighting styles, one that includes taunting to demoralize your enemy and one that includes staying silent to demoralize your enemy.