Follows is the kind of information I sought while deciding what to buy. Hope it helps the next guy, dan --------- Purchased dealer demo '04 757 w/4.5 hours and deere mulch kit for $6,500. More mower then I wanted, but too good of deal to pass up. I selected Deere because I've owned them and know the amazing quality intrinsic to green. Availability of local dealer, a backup dealer, and readily available parts were a big deal to me. I also wanted at least 3" of overlap and more HP then "it will work". Thus I ruled out: 717 (18hp w/48"), not enough power, mid frame, no overlap 737 (23hp w/54"), ok power, big frame, no overlap Leaving: 727 23 hp and 54", enough power, good overlap, mid frame, good sized tires (ride) 757 (25hp w/60"), as above, but jeez is it big. Am cutting about 25,000 sq feet of grass, minimal trimming so far (new house) but trees are coming next spring. Cut it in 1/2hour or a bit less (mowing only), leaving 1 hour for trim clean-up, brief yard care and still done in 1.5 hours. Nice. It flys and seems to cut as fast as I want to go. Hill holding is amazing, I'm cutting a 400' long sideways slope that is certainly more then I thought a ZTR can do, and it's 100%. They are heavy, and fast, so I have blown a few off-camber sloped turns, and advise you to remember it's a lot of moving weight to stop or turn. Concerns: w/o mulch baffels and w/Std hi-lift blades or w/Gators it doesn't discharge very well. Seems to build-up inside deck and drop it in chunks. This w/dry but very green, well watered young and sometimes taller grass. My old 265 w/46c seemed to discharge much better. Deck holding grass is only major flaw, but I'm dissapointed in it right now. Mulching w/baffles and the gators gives VERY fine mulch, but again, the deck is holding lots of grass up inside it. Stopping the deck will drop LOTS of mulched grass in one spot and will require rake spreading. Otherwise it seems to be speading it out well. I do see an increased drop in slow turns. Also seems to leave an enormous amount of grass transiting driveways and sidewalks. This, at least with greenm active grass, is to be avoided. Washing under deck will drop a 5 gallon bucket full of fine clippings. I've yet to take the much vaunted gators off and mulch w/a std low lift deere blade, but am going to. Machine is an SOB to clean under deck. no easy way to get it off fast (I was an idiot and just assumed it came off easy). I now winch the front up (lets skip how) to spray it out, but that wastes time. I should have consided clean-up and maintenance more. Deck start needs a lot of power. Hard to believe it's a 25hp motor. I think the PTO (Mule drive) must just drink power down, but perhaps further break in will change this. I can idle start my 265's deck, this needs 3/4 throttle. Deck height came adjusted to spec tolerance (I checked), and my grass seems to look best @2 3/4". Deck heigh adjust is easy, nice to use. Controls all work well, armrest about 2" to low for me. I became at least sorta comfortable using it after 3 mowings and am gaining skill as I go. As all have said, Z-turns are a major Oops! for the grass, but i think 1 wheel turns are even worse. I CAN pivot around a small (say 4". as a example) radius, but there won't be any grass left under the inside tire if I do. I suspect that is true of all Z's, as we can't have an "open" side that can freewheel. Hydro's are surprisingly weak compared to a tractor. That's an impression, I've not trying to work them, but based on feel I won't be testing it out. Example. I dump the 265 hydro forward and it will pick the front up 2'. This with 16 hp. The 25 Hp Z just starts moving and picks up speed quickly. Perhaps the higher gearing dampens the power hit, but w/50% more power I expected the 50% higher top speed to have felt similar. Aagain, I suspect the mule drive is a power sink. Ride is good. Large tire, all pneumatic, and thick seat. I can, and have, caught myself mowing flat out. All in all it is what it's designed to be: A high speed grass cutter with good manners. Strenght is green paint and all it implies, weakness it deck maintenance and grass clumping. Should I find a solution to the deck holding grass I will advise. For now, it gets a C+ and will never (can't get the deck out fast) get an "A". Perhaps I grade hard... Will I keep it? For now. Although I may sell it if I find a smaller diesel kubota for the same money. Much will depend on how it behaves next summer. I half suspect the new, VERY green grass is delivering a pretty hard test for the deck, but am now cutting twice a week, so height of cut is reasonable. Other thoughts: I've not tried doubles, and don't project it will like starting them. It's cold blooded to start. I think it's too lean. Finally, I suspect the grass holding issue is part and parcel of the current trend to square decks. I suspect a real tunnel top deck would do much better.