I bought a new snapper hivac 28" rear engine rider with a 13.0 hp B/S motor last year. It's very reliable, efficient, and gives a nice clean cut every time. As far as durability it's all steel and very tough! I can see why they are known to last. Now for the few things I want to improve in my second mower choice. First my Snapper is truelly a "rider" kinda like riding a bull in the areas my lawn get hilly. Very bouncy at times. Secondly the cutting area of 28" and one blade makes me have to do allot of going back and forth cutting. I'd like to cut the time mowing in half, and have a much smoother ride! I was looknf at John Deeres at Home Depot, but wasn't impressed with the plastic bodies, didn't look very durable, although I am sure they make a more commercial grade of tractor. I was also looking at Snapper tractor, but at 3K plus they better be as good or better than John deer. Also at that price couldn't I get a decent zero turn mower, what are the advantages to that, or is a tractor better if your cutting a bigger lawn?