My main point is that there are much better machines at comparable prices.
yep, and some of those much better machines have MTD built parts on them, some parts that are on other machines are hydro motors, hydro pumps etc. Said it before on some machines theres alittle MTD in them. Oh by the way I have 2 ztr cub tanks, no problems with them. I went with who gave me the best service, could have been very well scag/exmark or who ever. So I can't see how there so much better when they share parts, same deck design, same deck material thickness, same size frame, same engine options, same donaldson filter options, same cup holder, the list can go on and on, it boils down to who give the best after the sale service.