Doc, After reading some of the answers to your questions I figure I might as well put in my 2 cents worth. In answer to some of your questions - Which mower is the best? Which ever mower you decide on, make sure you have a local dealer who is used to working with the landscape trade. There is nothing worse than to have something break and not be able to get parts and service. Regarding blade tip speed. Most all of your brand name mowers all are running blade tip speed of 19000. This is an ANSI standard not an osha standard. This standard is voluntary. Most all your top name brands (Scag, Exmark, Encore, Bobcat, Bunton) are all there. I believe Dixe might even be more. Where this comes in to play for you is that you can cut faster. However, when you are cutting faster than normal and have a machine with a suspended deck (chains) many times on a bumpy lawn your deck is bouncing up in the air and going over the top of the grass leaving an uneven cut. Now the Advantage of a front cut over a mid cut ! You are right you will get a better cut. Because many have fixed deck. It won't bounce as much. They also easier to get under swing sets, pine trees ect. They are generally also more comfortable to ride. More attachments are generally available. Like Grasshopper for example. If you do alot of snow you can get enclosed cabs with heat. The disadvantage is that they take more trailer space and they don't climb hills as well. They also aren't as manuverable in tight spaces. Bearings: Today most everyone is going to loose fit bearings in an aluminum housing without grease zirks. The reason being is that they are cheaper. The next reason is they are much more serviceable than the cast iron housings and less weight. You don't have to put them into a press to disassemble them. Less chance of breaking the housing. Old technology always had grease fittings but on the negative side to that overgreasing will pop the seal out and allow dirt to get in. Most of the warranties today are at least one year and some up to three years. If you are doing properties that are a couple of acres or more you really don't want to be bagging. Most of the mowers today have a blade tip speed quick enough to handle the job as long as you are not cutting too fast. Also, keep your blades sharp. It does make a difference. Hope some of this helps. Got to run now.