I've been researching and testing and sitting on mowers for about a year now, and need some help. This will be my own personal mower to mow about 1.8 acres (including house/driveway/deck, etc). The yard is a little rough in spots currently. I plan on slowly taking care of the roughness, but it probably won't happen in the next couple of years. Anyway, my current mower is an old Bolens 42" tractor. It's slow, and I don't know how long it will continue to last. I have looked at Gravely, Hustler, Great Dane, Exmark, Scag and Ferris. Demo'd Gravely 260Z, Hustler Super Z and Great Dane Chariot LX. I didn't like the Gravely. It didn't handle the hills too good and overall I didn't like the handling of it. I liked the Super Z and Great Dane. I actually preferred the Dane's sticks between the legs. Anyway, to continue, I am currently focusing on Ferris and Hustler. I don't care for Exmark, plus heard they aren't the best on hills. Scags look good, but seem to be pretty high priced. Of the Ferris machines, I would like to look at the new 1500 and the 3000. Hustler I would probably be looking at a Super Z or Super MiniZ, but have recently thought about Fasttracks. Question is, is it overkill for me to be looking at a Super Z or Ferris 3000? Because of the bumps in the yard, I like the thought of suspension, or at least the suspension seat. If I wanted to keep the price around $6500, I believe my choices are Ferris 1500 or Hustler Super MiniZ. Which one would you recommend for my application? I want this to last a LONG time. Part of my looking at Ferris is also due to the horizontal shaft versus vertical shaft argument. I don't know which is better, but horizontals appear to be more highly regarded for longevity. Maybe all these are overkill, and I should just buy a Cub Cadet or something....I'm getting tired of all this research! Please help. I've found good dealers fairly close for all machines, so I believe that is a wash. Give me your advide!