I absolutely agree that dealer/service support is one of the most important factors.
For this reason Im going to begin by going to a few local dealers I like to see what they have or can find for used options.
Toro or Thomas will be my first choices, though I'm not sure the Thomas machines have been around long enough for there to be many used ones out there.
16 years experience, 10 as owner/operator.
And still not rich