Just bought a Deere z425 today. To squash as much of the nay-sayer's as possible... Yes, I bought it from my local dealer (which were completely AWESOME to work with. Treated me the same as if I were buying a combine) Yes, I understand it's a residential machine. Yes, I understand that many of you think it's a heap of garbage. The point here is to give my take on my first day of using the machine, for other's benefit. Keep in mind this is my first ZTR, and what I'm comparing it to is my old (now traded in) L130 Deere. First off, sitting next to the big Exmarks and full size Deere's, it's small, no way around that one. The deck is the same as on the x300 and x500 series tractors (48" models). No, it's not a commercial machine, but it's much sturdier than the stamped frame cub cadets and toro's at lowe's. Engine pops off on the first twist of the key, very smooth, idles up and down the length of the throttle with no hint of a stutter or hesitation. Controls are surprisingly smooth... it took me about 15 minutes to get the hang of the controls and how to make it go where I wanted. Around trees, in a straight line, very smooth and no whining. Pump and motors are strong enough that I actually poped a wheelie while trying to show it off to my wife... we got a chuckle out of that one... with about 2 hours of seat time on the machine, I feel very comfortable driving it. PTO engages and the motor barely hesitates. My L130, when cold, I would have to leave the choke about 1/4 closed when engaging the pto or risk killing the motor. Deck doesn't really make much noise, very smooth. Cut is GREAT! very smooth and even, right off the showroom floor. Blades are about 30% thicker than the ones on the L130. Still sharp after the 5 lawns I did today with it. 1/4" cut height settings make it very easy to get the perfect height for each lawn. Clipping are dispersed evenly so you can barely tell they're there. Still getting the hang of turning without tearing up the grass... fortunately it's been pretty dry lately, so I don't have to deal with wet turf. Figured out why it's better to go across hills also... straight run with a little dip into the woods at the end, couldn't get it stopped in time, and drove into the woods a couple feet... homeowner was understanding, everyone has to learn somehow. Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase. For the money, I think it's an excellent value and would reccomend it for those doing a few lawns part time, or their own acerage. Time will tell how it holds up, but I can't wait to get back out and mow!!