Most leases are basically the same as loans - with a little higher interest. Take the payments you'll have to make and add them all togeather , thats what you'll wind up paying for the equipment. The differences in in tax write off. You can write off all the leases payments over the whole period (2,3 years). If financed, you can write off most of the cost over your current period (accelerated depreciation) but only the interest portion of payments during future periods.
Some leases are set up to pay 6 months per year - called contractors leases - thus a 24 payment lease can be spread over 4 years.