I understand what you are saying. We used 84" snow buckets up there last year and they ended up being a powerful bargaining chip; even in the per hour situations. It certainly gave us some leverage in securing a higher hourly rate and getting work over other skids. The same can be said for having our telehandler up there.
You are certainly correct about ESI. I have purchased a few plows from them,but can rarely get them on the phone to order parts, pricing, etc. It isn't quite as easy for me to just go over to sort thing out though. To my knowledge they are the only BOSS dealer in the area though, so I have to deal with the mediocre customer service.