I bought a eXmark 30 in September and am very pleased with it. I find myself using it more and more on the smaller lawns I used to do with the ZTR. It worked very well with leaves also. The only issue that I had with it was clogging the chute when in lawns with a lot of pine needles. As far as hillsides, I have one that I used to do with a string trimmer and have since started doing with the 30. I have to go side to side and start at the bottom and work my way up the hill. I do have to help it a little on the turns, but a lot easier to handle than going from the top down. It will try to drag you down the hill!!