Just wanted to send my thanks for the advice in purchasing a string trimmer. I purchased a Shindaiwa T231 and couldn't be more pleased. I previously had an el cheapo Homelite curved shaft trimmer that gave up the ghost after three years. I hated that thing so much. The feed system was horrible and I spent more time playing with the head than trimming. I immediately went out and purchased a Weedeater straight shaft trimmer for $100 at Wally World ( please forgive me for I knew not what I did). That POS didn't even get through half the lawn before it started to give me trouble. I finally had it and promptly returned it for a refund (after a lot of trouble because it still had gas in it.) I was once again without a trimmer. I decided to bite the bullet and get a serious trimmer (little did I know what a serious trimmer really was). I came close to buying an Echo or a Husqvarna at Home Depot and Lowe's respectively, but since I'm a cheapskate I decided to do a little research. I stumbled across this board and was enlightened by the members knowledge and experience. I decided I was either going to get a Stihl or a Shindaiwa. I searched for local dealers (can you believe they sell lawn equipment at other places besides HD, Lowe's or Walmart?) and was surprised at just how many places carried one or the other or both. I looked at both (and the different models of each brand) and decided I preferred the Shindaiwa T231 as it was the best compromise of weight/power/durability/cost. The kicker is that the dealer is only a couple of miles from my home and if anything goes wrong he can repair it on-site ( try that at Home Depot or Lowe's). Thank you again for all the help you have provided. Sincerely, Jason P.