I'm not a veteran in this business, but one thing I've learned very quickly is that your dealer matters in more ways than one. If you have two dealers in your town, and one sells Echo and the other sells Stihl, then go in and talk to them both about their models, repair history, the lawn industry, anything.... If one of them acts like they don't have the time of day, and the other stands there and answers your questions and is generally pleasant to talk to, then your choice is obvious. The guy who doesn't have the time to answer a few questions won't have time to fix your stuff either.
Do some research on local business websites and look for reviews on both dealers. Ask other LCOs about their preferred dealer. Again, if there's a stark difference in reputation, then your choice is clear.
I mention all of this because that's how it is where I live. We have two dealers. One of them is rude, takes forever to repair anything, won't greet you when you come in the door,etc. The other knew my name the second or third time I came in, answered every one of my dumb questions, didn't pressure me to buy it right then, and has been a great help to me. He happens to be the Echo dealer in town.
And here's my antecdotal bit of advice: go with Echo if you've got a good dealer. My dad's SRM 3100 is almost 20 years old and has seen heavy usage. Only one problem with carb adjustment about a year ago. I own all Echo, no problems. The dealer I use also helped start one of the biggest lawn care companies in this area and they logged down time on every machine they had. When they switched from Stihl to Echo, their down time was cut to a quarter of what it had been and stayed that way. So there's my two cents.