As a homeowner who is tired of hours of raking for each of several days during fall, I'm ready to make an "investment" in my own quality of life. I've searched this site regarding back pack blowers and have been resoundingly reassured that I'm looking in the right direction. But as is usually the case, the details can be more demanding than they seem to warrant. I'm looking in the $300 to $400 range, with hopes of being closer to 3 than 4. My situation is a heavily wooded lot, with several varieties of trees that all drop at different times. Each "drop" generates rather large piles of leaves. I am fortunate in that I can just clear them into the woods. Appears to be an ideal application for a blower. I killed two light duty homeowner hand helds that were limited in what they could move. Wet leaves were not an option. A rake has always been required to move the piles long before I reach the edge of the woods. So now comes the confusing part. Based on the what dealers are closest and seem the easiest to work with, I've narrowed my search to Stihl or Redmax. The information on this site seems to weight those two the best as well. The individual unit's spec's are where I'm not able to settle on a choice. I can get a new Redmax EB4401 for about the same price as a "demo" unit Stihl BR550. As the 550 is the second most powerful unit Stihl makes, it would seem to be the better choice. However, although the 4401 has a lower velocity (183mph vs. 199mph), it has a significantly higher volume (671cfm vs. 530). Even Redmax adds to the confusion with the EB5000. Presumably a step up from the EB4401. But looking at the spec's the 5000 is A LOT slower (142mph vs. 183mph) and A LOT less volume (590cfm vs. 671cfm). It seems that the advantage of the 5000 over the 4401 is that it is much quieter (65dbA vs 72dbA) and, due to the strato-charged engine, has a much longer runtime (1.8hrs vs. 1.2hrs). Both of those are desireable characteristics, but don't seem to justify a 25% higher price over the 4401. One further item is the EPA durability rating (4401 = N/A, 5000 = 300hrs(class III?), and 550 = class I (50 hrs?!)). Purportedly, these units are all going to last a homeowner a long time, so why such a span of ratings? Any recommendations? Thanks for any insight. Also, I really like this site. Nicely laid out and the participation is exceptional.