I'm new here, and am enjoying the threads and information. Great site! Ok, here goes, I'm looking to purchase a lawn mowing machine. I'm pretty sure I want to go with a zero turn machine, not a lawn/garden/sub-compact tractor. (but my mind is available for change!). I read many discussions, but feel that I still can't determine which is the best for my situation. Hopefully this thread can answer some of the questions for me, and anyone else out there in a similar situation, or for commercial guys looking at similar properties. Some Details: 1) 1.89 Acres, approx 1.25 acres of grass when the landscaping is done. 2) Riverbank with approx. 15 degree slope down to a flat area near the river. 3) Slopes around/near the house. 4) Planting/Tree Beds. 5) Tree "islands". 6) Obstacles to mow around such as play structures, patios, walkway. 7) Tight areas (see pics). 8) Curbs along the driveway. 9) Ditches out front that I cut. 10) I don't want to spend 8 hours/week mowing! The Hunt So Far: 1) Deere guy has many options, mid,front,back, etc. etc. 2) Kubota guy's stuff is very nice, diesel probably too expensive for me. Out front is not a zero turn tractor. I like the fact they are shaft drive, not belts. Does this really matter though? 3) Grasshopper guy thinks that out-front is the only way to go on our property, and I won't be happy with a mid-mount, especially on the slopes. These things look to be built like a tank, are they too heavy? 4) Walker guy thinks his machine has the best cut. I like the fact the machine is lighter, easier on the new sod, etc. He says that if I tell any other guys I'm looking at a Walker, they will give me their absolutely best price, just to try and compete. I'm really getting mixed signals on the Walker from reading threads here. 5) Exmark guy has some nice machines. They seem a little pricy to me, but from threads here, they sound like good machines. 6) Ferris/Simplicity guy feels that the suspension gives them the leg-up on the competition, and the machines are very reliable. 7) Toro/Husqavarna guy gives me the impression he doesn't think I'm serious about looking at the machines. I guess he thinks the Toro's are too much machine for a home-owner? 8) Going to look at Scag this weekend. Still want to look at Cub Cadet. Questions: 1) The big question is Mid-Mount, or Front-Mount for the mowing deck? I haven't seen many conversations debating the merits of MM vs FM. 2) How is the turf-tearing using these machines, especially for a newbie and/or amateur? 3) Grass Pickup or Mulch? (Don't want side discharge) 4) Should I consider a sub-compact or xSeries JD tractor? 5) For a home-owner, are the Zero Turns really worth it? (dumb question?) All suggestions/thoughts/comments are greatly appreciated! See below for pics of the property. I added these to give a view of the slopes, obstacles, etc. Thanks. Brent.