I had a scag when I bought my first and even back when the baggers had the auxiliary motor, it still clumped and looked terrible unless it was totally dry. I bought a Toro after that, and wasn;t all to happy there either, I bought it because it was supposed to have the best cut, then I went with Exmark, and I loved it. I got out of maintenance for a while and just bought a couple Ferris today. I stayed away from the exmark as the price is off the wall now, almost 12k quoted on a 6o" z, I went with Ferris as was mentioned due to dealer support. I was never able to get a machine out of the dealer I bought the Scag, TOro and Exmark from if something went down, the dealer I bought from today guaranteed me one. Another concern I had with the exmark now is that they are switching decks again, I come form the school of don;t fix what isn;t broke, they had a fantastic machine, then played with what worked, and the dealer told me it didn;t play out so well, now they are trying to switch back. I will watch and see where it goes. I truly wish there was a dixie dealer around here, or a walker, they are really where I want to be, but not local and the others are.
As for the smaller tools, I run billy goat walk behinds, and the rest are all stihl from the saw to the trimmers and even the smaller blowers. They have always been reliable for me.