Exmark and Gravely are both great machines, but that's where it ends. You want bang for you buck? Hustler Super Z... Cost is competitive, but it's production numbers are almost twice that of the same size Exmark. That means more cutting per hour and more $ per hour. It's like having 2 machines for the price of one and only one operator. imo
The new Toro 500 series especially the Z588E model with 60'' newly designed "turbo force" deck is well worth looking at, I'm buying one soon, most likely.
The Hustler Super Z....these mowers are very, very well designed and built, bulletproof in every way, more compact than the above Toro, probably the best mower for center of gravity, excellent company support, many say these are the best of the best....though I am swaying towards the Toro for dealer reasons only, I'd certainly not dissagree with them.
I can't comment on others except Ferris....great too, not as versatile though in my opinion, no mulch kit option and no 28hp efi...yet.
TopGun.. I just realized where you were located.. Give Mike at Pro Mower in Warren a call.. They have a demo Super Z with about 25 hours on it. I can't remember what they were asking, but they are great guys over there.
I haven't used a Hustler, but I've used various big mowers. I'm still mystfied at the ridiculous mowing speeds some of these mowers are claiming. Unless you're mowing only 1/2" off all the time, I just do not understand how you can get clean mowing results at 13mph. And obviously, the smaller the properties you're doing, the more turning you're doing, and the less you're really able to use these high speeds. Toss in hills, wet conditions, etc, and just how often are you making use of this extra top speed? (which often comes at the price of decreased control sensitivity, higher weights, less turf-friendly tires, etc)
They all seem to be well built designs. But I'm not buying the claim that theoretical production numbers in any way represent what's really possible in the real world.
Finally, some people's idea of a "great cut" is anything that doesn't leave lots of stringers. I see lots of large commercial properties that look fine from a distance, but when you walk the property you notice the windrows of clippings matted in the lawn. I want a mower that cuts reasonably fast but does it very well.