I think this is a fair price. However, I would spend the extra $ and get an Exmark. I own both and I feel the Bobcat is a giant boatanchor in comparison. The Exmark handles and cuts better. I now use the Bobcat as a backup. When it was used regularly, the guys would fight over the Exmarks. Hope this helps. Just my 2 cents.
i really don't know. i just looked at it today. i will demo it before i buy it and i'll check to see if it really gets through gates. i'm still pretty green when it comes to walk behinds.
Sure it won't get through a 36". As far as my limited knowledge goes, the only mower I know of that will "flip up" from 52" to 36" is a Great Dane (forget the model name this min.) Never really sure how they worked in the real world. Most gates are 48", but is always good to have a 36" mower in those situations. (or atleast a good 21" mower) if it's your first WB (not to assume it is)
a 36" is a good starter mower. Part of a winning combo.
Good luck with whatever you choose ;-) !