Very good comparison! In regard to a few of your observations: Track on the ground Ditch Witch vs. Vermeer, the DW has 43" of track on the ground. You mentioned a push test? Tracks are not only for traction but for stability and balance as well. DW w/ 43" of track on the ground allows for a greater "Tip Capacity" at 1860 lbs vs. Vermeer at 1450 lbs. DW also offers a wider 9" track with the ability widen the frame to 42" if necessary. Hydraulics, you mention DW with 4 pumps and Vermeer with 3. Now you understand why the DW had noticably more power through all functions and why the Vermeer had flames in the design of the frame work above the hydraulic cooler. Hydraulic capacity of the DW is 7 gal. vs. 14 gal. in the Vermeer. Engines, DW runs 21.5 Hp Kubota 1105-T (T for TURBO) vs. the 26 Hp Kubota 990 Tie the engine and auxilary hydraulics together you get nearly 20.9 Hp to powered attachment vs. est. 10 Hp on the Vermeer. This is why you have noticably more power why multifunctioning. In example driving into a pile of material and raising the loader arms, curling the bucket and pushing through the pile and not stahling the machine. Speed, the DW specs 4.3 mph vs. Vermeer at 4.5 mph. a 0.2 mph difference. Keep in mind that is at a dead run with no load. Load the 2 machines or run the auxilary hydraulics and see which machine has the greatest ground speed while actually working the machine. Controls, 2 levers vs. 1 lever for track drive operation. Both units are unique to any other brands in that they both use hydraulic charge to stroke the ground drive pumps. DW uses indipendant levers vs. Vermeers single joystick design. I feel that the dual independant design allows for more controlability but, that's just me. Both allow for no mechanical linkage to adjust and maintain over the life of the machine. Finally, more pumps, larger more powerful Turbo engine all equal a justified increased price tag. The DW is arguably a Class above all other Mini's in regard to performance as you well mentioned. Creature comforts were the off setting factors mentioned. Ultimately, production is the key......... you mentioned you didn't purchase the either machine hoping Vermeer comes out with a new model. The increased production and increased in jobs you could of had while you wait on a new model may well of offset the difference in price of the two machines in production alone.