I've given some thought about mowing a number of lawns, but my career has taken me much higher up the ladder with my new job than I had ever expected. At any rate, I'm still in the market to upgrade my current mower(21" Honda) for my yard(1/2 acre). While I'm certainly wanting to reduce my hour of cutting alone(doesn't even include trimming), I'm also looking to improve the quality of the cut as well. I know that hydro is the best way to go, but is it that much of an advantage for a homeowner to cut just 1/2 acre and possibly a couple other jobs at the expense of going up from the cost of belt vs hydro? I'm definitely going to stay in the 36/48" deck range, but I can get a like new belt of a major company for the price of a hydro that's been around the block and then some. I'm talking about a mower that will get a maximum of 50 hours a year even if I pick up a couple jobs on the side. Can anyone tell me why I should buy a hydro mower?