I just got off the phone with Exmark. Production on the Metro 26 just began today due to delays in the availabilty of a spring and steel. They can produce 200 units a day and already have orders for 7 000. The unit will not get up here to Canada until May 10th or so. People in the U.S may have better luck. The exmark rep also told me some nice info on the machine: 1. The design is based on the old John Deere JX85. 2. It goes somewhat faster than the proline/metro 21" 3. Toro will allow them 2 years to market the 26" mower exclusively. Thus, don't expect them to make one until 2007. 4. They are very confident that it will mulch well as they field tested the unit in Florida and California and found it to mulch well. However, he did say not to expect miracles if the grass is overgrown or extremely wet. No mower can mulch in those conditions. 5. Because the engine is not directly driving the blade and is set at 3600 rpm, they are very confident that the power will be sufficient for bagging and mulching. 6. They did initially look at putting either a 9 hp kawasaki or 8 hp honda on it but such an engine would increase the weight by 30 lbs or so. Keeping the mower looking like a 21" would not have been feasible since it would not be able to handle the weight. They then would have had to look at designing the unit in the form of a mid size walk behind which is not what they wanted. 7. Most of the demand for the unit is coming from Canada and not the U.S. All in all, it seems like a promising machine. I am frustrated with the delays, however.