While if it were me I would go with a honda or kawi if money permits, briggs is still a good engine. I'm sure you will def. get your money out of it and they are much less expensive to repair and replace when they break.
The briggs twin is almost as expensive as the others. To replace a crank and cluth assembly on my Toro wb would have cost me arround 1100.00. The bolt going into the crank snapped resulting in damage to the crank and to the cluth assembly. One thing about the twin is that is very easy to start. If the others are not twins, I would most likely take the twin.
I own a LW leaf loader, the 16 hp briggs vtwin. The engine on this thing is solid, sucks leaves like crazy, even wet clumpy stuff. The engine is not the problem with this model. The height of the exit tube is the problem. The entire unit assembled is over 6ft tall. The box I had to build on my trailer was almost 9 ft off the ground. Incredibly tall, and swayed around quite a bit while traveling. Hauling that thing around was a huge nerve wracking experience. And the chute cannot be cut down, there's a flange at the bottom end that has to be on the thing to attach to the unit.
And secondly, the thing weighs a ton. It's built like a tank, solid as hell, but a lot heavier than other comparable units. Something this heavy should be on wheels. And that's exactly what I did with mine, put it on wheels.
Overall, the unit works very good. Chews up leaves, sucks up wet stuff, doesn't get bogged down very easily. But the height on the thing, and weight are definite draw backs. I am still unsure if I am going to keep mine or sell it to buy a different model for this fall.
I have the Lesco leaf vacuum with the 16Briggs. I like the engine. It has a canister style air filter . The Lesco model is under 4 feet in height. Lesco sells extensions. The tube is good quality and looks sturdy. The truck brackets are extra. The unit is built like a tank. I paid around $2300 last season.