I have been cutting grass for several years using only 21" mowers. I have been looking into upgrading to a bigger machine and am trying to decide between hydro and gear drive for a first machine. I have been talking with my eXmark dealer about a 36" Viking with fixed deck and hydro or a 36" Metro with fixed deck and gear drive. His opinion is that the hydro is well worth the extra money and he wouldn't own a gear drive. He doesn't work on commission so I trust what he is telling me. Everyone else that I have talked to has the same opinion on hydro vs. gear drive. I was wondering if there are still alot of people who purchase the gear drive eXmark models and are happy with them, or do they wish that they had went ahead and purchased the hydro.