As you can tell, I hate to cut grass. The sooner I can get it done the better. I want it done right, but I want to be finished. I cut about 2.25 acres of fairly flat, even grass. Half centipede and half pasture grass with a lot of weeds thrown in to fill be bare spots. Well, my old Simplicity 16LTH had been giving so many little problems I decided to replace it. The Briggs Vanguard engine was running great but everything else seemed to be falling apart. Soooo, since I had been looking at the Cub Cadets for a few months I decided to go with a 2542. Loved it, that is until I took it home and started cutting grass. It left stalks everywhere, cut unevenly, no stripes, etc. I guess the Simplicity spoiled me a bit. Even after 13 years it would outcut the Cub hands down. Anyway, after a few attempts at getting the Cub to cut the way I wanted I went back and had a heart to heart talk with my dealer. He asked me exactly what I wanted. I said I needed a grass cutting MF, something that eats grass like an 8 year old eats watermelon. And that's exactly what I got I love it!! And after the wife got over the sticker shock($5899+tax) and saw how it cuts, she's pretty happy as well. Which makes me even happier What used to take 4-5 hours on the Simplicity now takes about 1.5 hours. And that was my first time. And NO WEEDEATING!! I had about 10 hours on the Cub. My dealer (Whitley Lawn and Garden in Monroe NC) took the Cub back and sold me the Hustler. I may have overpaid a little, but I can't fault the dealer. And THAT'S why I buy from a dealer and not a box store. But a few questions: 1.) For 6 grand why can't Hustler put the hour meter on? Can't be the cost. 2.) Why no ROPS for the Fastrack? 3.) What is included in the mulching kit? Will it allow me to remove the rubber chute guard thingy? 4.) Will the suspension seat fit the fastrack? 5.) Why SO much for the "Super Oil"? Even the king of mark-up, HD, doesn't charge that kind of money for their synthetic oil. That's about it for now. As you can tell I really like the mower. I even get on it to ride around the yard sometimes. And I am very imperssed with the mowerconsultant on this forum. I don't think anyone else has this kind of service. Kind of a direct line to the factory. And as a Customer Service Rep myself, I love it.