I just wanted to say I see a lot of threads discussing this brand vs. that and which one is better and what have you... In my experience there is no best brand per se, they never have made a one size fits all of any specific machine that everyone can agree on, but if you're asking the question then it could mean you haven't found yours yet. While it does pay to check out different makes and models, buying used mowers might not be such a bad idea, the trick is to buy until you find the one you fall in love with, in my case it's the Toro 30197 48" proline, see what I mean is once you find a machine you really like then you stick with it. We all have them eventually, that one tool we wouldn't do without, now it makes sense to stick with that particular make and model almost to the point of using it exclusively, it might also make sense if you see it being discontinued to buy one of the last ones as a spare (such as if you have one already that you really like) but what makes as much sense is to stay within that line. Unfortunately manufacturers change their minds at the whim of the wind somedays, and all of a sudden trusty oldie craps out good and they don't carry that thing anymore and you're back to square one... But at least you got some years of peace and quiet operation in between.