Thanks for the replies. I've been to busy to post back sooner.
I ended up going a bit bigger, ended up with Kubota 4340, 853 loader, & woods 72" rear finish mower. I couldn't even find a JD on a lot to go see & kick the tires, much less get a firm answer on when I could take delivery if I ordered. The Kubota looks to be built plenty solid for my intended use (and more), and the price was great. It gets delivered Sat 5/21, can't ask for better dealer service than that.