I too would jump on the band wagon with buying from a power equipment dealer and not a box store. You feel like you're on a island all alone when that Box store product breaks. Was the dealer you went to short some personal and the mechanics were just trying to fill in? I agree with the one post about asking the wrench on the construction and durability of the machine. For the value I like the Raptor. Very little plastic on the machine and the power plant is proven to be strong. Don't sell short the fact the Hustler is family owed. Some of the lines that were talked about is all corporate and try to keep the stock holders happy. There's a person on the top at Hustler you can talk to.