I've been lurking on this forum for a while now and cannot seem to find an answer to my burning questions regarding a backpack blower for home use. I have a 1/2 acre lot with a LOT of hardwood trees. I would also be doing both my parent's and mother-in-law's yards (both ~1/2 acre with a lot of hard woods also). I have narrowed my choices down to the RedMax EBZ7001, EBZ8001 or the Stihl BR600. I want a powerful blower to get the leaves to the curb quickly. I want it to last at least 15 years (which shouldn't be a problem with any of these choices). I would also like it to be as maintenance free as possible (basically gas-'n-go). I've heard horror stories regarding the Stihl BR600 and it's maintenance and overall lower quality. The posts on those stories seem to be over a year old. Has Stihl fixed the BR600 (4-mix) engine issues? It seems that most folks on the forum like the RedMax. Regarding the Strato-Charged engines (the EBZ series) is the EBZ7001 going to be good enough for a homeowner? At my local dealer the BR600 and EBZ7001 are about the same price and the EBZ8001 is about $50 more. Is the EBZ8001 worth the extra $50 (keeping in mind the weight over the EBZ7001 and the BR600)? So basically I have three 1/2 acre lots with a lot of leaves that I want to gather up as quick as I can. I want a powerful, low maintenance blower and see the value in spending the extra $$ for the good stuff so it'll basically last a lifetime. So...of these three which one would fit the bill?