I couldn't agree more with this post, and my ex-dealer friend (who sold out to the guys who have a store near 71 gearhead) told me the same thing, and he (my ex-dealer friend) is now a liason between Deere and HD/Lowe's. The machines are exactly the same as the dealers stock. According to my dealer friend, Deere's requirements for HD/Lowe's is that they can't sell below the dealer's or they lose their franchise rights. One other thing- be extra careful when making quick turns not to snag the caster wheels on the ground/roots/etc. That is one glaring flaw in the design of Deere's less expensive products. I have fixed them that have been torn completely off from careless homeowners not paying attention. My repairs were ten times better than stock and vary similar to what Deere puts on their better machines.