As an 1500z 48" owner, I'll weigh in too. Changing the oil does suck; the dain tube is a bit too short & only drains next to the muffler. Good thing I don't have to change the oil every day. If I was a mechanic dealing with these machines on a daily basis, I too would be frustrated. As with all ZTRs, ya gotta be careful on the hills. They don't have the same (hill) manuverability as tractors or WBs. I mow some 30+ degree slopes & the 1500 does fine. Never experience a pblm climbing slopes with my 1500..unless I push it past its climbing ability. When I do, the machine does a wheelie & I'll invoke an abrupt U-Turn back down the slope. Kind of like being on a snow board sliding down the halfpipe! The machine has never scalped my lawns and I've never experienced lawn burn from its exhaust (and I make frequent stops to pick up dog bones, dog sticks and everything else associated with doggy dogs). I find the cut to be very acceptable for residential lawns. Quality seems to be dependent upon speed and sharpness of its blades. The better the lawn, the better the cut too. Does it strip well? No. But I love the uniformity of its cut. I too only have about 15 hrs on my machine and don't relish the though of having to do maint. on it. One sacrifice a person makes when buying this "compact" commercial mower is its ease of maint. The other is its small, 6 gallon gas tank. Is the Ferris tough? You bet. With only a few hours on the engine, my wife managed to run the deck into the side of our brick garage. The garage lost. I expect I'll be keeping this machine for many years to come.