After 3 months of deliberation,research,demo's and all the helpful insight provided by posters on this board( I really appreciate all your comments on my requests for information), I ordered a 52" LazerHP w/23hp Kawasaki engine,mulch kit and the Ultra Vac last week. I really liked the Walker but the Lazer won out due to the following factors: 1.)Dealer--the Lazer dealer is only 30 minutes away and has had the Lazer line for 12 years. The Walker dealer was 2 hours away. Also,the Lazer dealer has a good reputation for parts and service and was willing to negotiate on the final price(LazerHP-$6924,Ultra Vac- $1125 and mulch kit-$159; 2.)Although the Walker was slightly more manueverable than the Lazer,it seemed to me to be less stable on steeper slopes,the deck couldn't be raised on the "go" ,and didn't like the idea of having to buy and extra deck for side discharge(and having to change,carrying and store and extra deck); 3.)I liked the deeper deck on the Lazer and didin't like the sheer bolts on the Walker blades; 4.)the Ultra Vac collection system was awesome. The Walker clogged more during the demo's and I wanted to keep the collection as simple as possible. I was a leery of the oscillating spreader on the Walker. The Walker is a good mower but the Lazer won this competition. Again, thanks to all who replied to my questions.