Just bought a new 2004 Ferris IS1000Z 52" 23hp Kawasaki this morning. Here's my review from what i've used it thus far: Yay! Went to the dealer this morning. Got to mow some red field clover with it (nasty stuff) with some regular clover and a bit of bluegrass and fescue mixed in. it did a real good job on it, good clean cut and stripe and good dispersal. I actually think with standard lift blades on it that it does better than my eXmark. The blades may be faster but the eXmark is supposed to be at 18,500 which is the max allowed generally. Im sure its a little slower from the engine being out of adjustment but not that much? Well anyway, back to the Ferris. The IS rides real nice too and it does help avoid scalping in some tough spots. I really liked the machine so I got it. Important features to me: Front wheel independent suspension (not just a smoother ride but makes the machine more stable and provides a better cut on rough ground) Nelson heavy duty canister air filter Fuel gauges on each tank More convenient and comfortable location of controls than the Scag Tiger Cub (only know this because he also sells those and I sat on one). The seat is also more comfortable than the Tiger Cub if only a little. Dealer is 39 miles away, but he was very good to me. I got it home and played on it. First mowed a neighbor buddys lawn with it just for kicks, man was he impressed. He mowed a few passes with it too. He loved it. Then went and mowed my prize lawn with it and it looked at least as good as ever with my eXmark maybe even a little better. This thing really cuts and stripes like a champ, no complaints there. I may add a flap to stripe with but Im in no hurry as it does really well on its own. Then I mowed my lawn with it (2 acres 70% hilly) it had not been mowed in a couple weeks. It handled it really well. I wasnt really able to bog the motor very much. The deck performed very well also. Mowed once at 4 then it was toward dark and I put sharp gators on top of the standard lift blades and was way totally impressed!!!! Does superb! Has enough power to run them efficiently and does a sweet job! Throws better than the eXmark because of more power to the blades I suppose. I like that I can now quickly and easily set height adjust while on the seat and with blades on. I find that I have to change heights more this year than I did last year so thats a handy feature. I got two extra sets of blades with it (machine never cut grass when I got it so in effect I have three new sets), two Ferris T-shirts, and a jumbo mesh debris bag. The 52 was the perfect all around size for me and its nice that the stripe size will not change but I also have many sets of good or new blades that will fit it that I had for the eXmark. Im very very pleased with this machine so far and no regrets. I found that just because there arent any others in my area (lack of dealers) does not mean that its not a great machine. I think that because its more expensive than other brands models of same deck and engine size it scares off many people. Its just a nicer machine thats all! I found that its just as maneuverable as the Exmark and much more capable in tall grass and with doubles, and very capable on hills. Much more than I would have thought even. Not as good as the ol eXmark on some steep banks but it will do just fine for me. I like this much better than the Dixie XT3200-60 I tried. This sits lower so it gets under limbs better, the smaller deck is more versatile actually, stripes still match, the deck performs more to my personal liking (not bashing Dixie decks, just not my type). The Ferris deck looks very very similar to an eXmark on the under side. All in all its a very well built machine with many nice features and I really like it. Im trying not to be biased! If you have not tried a Ferris and are looking into a Z, check them out and compare to other brands. The IS really helps machine stability and traction a lot and helps cut a lot. The fixed front end mowers ride like a log wagon in comparison and they dont contour the ground at all so they either scalp or ride over and dont cut an area. That also adds more frame stress. Plus you lose traction that way. With that Dixie I had to keep maneuvering differently to keep traction on the drive tires because of the fixed front end. I suppose all others are that way. I think a lot of people over look the benefits of the IS. This is a really nice machine and yes pricier than the Scag, eXmark, etc. but I think you do get what you pay for. No regrets here. Would not have minded 25hp but the 23hp Kaw seems to be plenty. Sorry no pics yet. Possibly will have Monday, hopefully. Gone all day tomorrow. Hopefully on Monday Ill get around to building the vacuum collection system. I need it for a few lawns this next week so I better get it done. I have most of the parts for it just need some steel for brackets. Thanks for letting me ramble. I may have more observations and comments after some more use but I put a few hours on the hourmeter today and used it in a few different conditions (turf type and terrain). Lovin it!