I have yet to have a problem from ethanol in any of my machines, whether it be the riders or handhelds, and that covers my entire lifetime, not just recently.
As far as your question, maybe you need to try a different oil in your mix.
I know there are other types of oils on the market, and like everything else brought up on this site, everyone has their favorite that they swear is the best. I can't say that mine is best, but since I have been using Stihl HP Ultra full synthetic oil in my machines, I have never had any problems, and the ones that were a little harder to start (as in new from the dealer) before I switched over are now easier to start as well. I run 93 octane minimum always, and about every fourth tankful run either Seafoam, or Star-Tron through them. Those additives really seemed to make a difference in how easy my old Stihl SH85 starts when compared to before.
Both my BR600M and my Husky 570 BTS (same exact blower as a RM EBZ7500) are more poweful than your 8001, and both start and run great. In fact, though the numbers favor the Husky, the Stihl is fully equal in top end performance, and actually a bit better all around, and it scoures the ground a bit better.
Last edited by Ridin' Green; 11-13-2011 at 07:23 PM.