Encore was bought out by WorldLawn last time I checked, right?
They still look like great machines for the price!
Personally I feel toro / exmark are way overpriced! They are probably the best machine you can get your hands on!
Look at Encore, Wright, Scag, etc. All great machines but buy the one with the best dealer support.
Last year I bought a $4,000 tractor and the place I got it from wouldn't service it! What a nightmare! Was down for 3 weeks and finally a local family dealer fixed it for me. Go with who will provide prompt service, that's worth more than anything IMO. In my area we have a dealer that gives "loaner equipment" till its fixed....service like that is priceless!