I'm a fan of mulching when done right. There are limits to the concept of mulching and I don't care what color machine you have if you go over those limits you'll get clumping. In the midwest I like mulching after fathers day. My grass grows too fast and I don't have the time to keep up with it. I wish I could because I throw down fertilizer down in April. When the grass grows so fast I bag it and tack a lot of my money with the grass. If I mulched I would send the fertilizer back to the soil.
I also have a lot of maple leaves and the mulch kit makes the go away in the fall.
If you are unable to stay up on your lawn in the spring I would suggest start off with a bagger or side discharge, then add a mulch kit later. they are just a bolt on kit.