I have a buddy who works for the city, he had to do several years of lawn duty..
When i asked him about lawnmowers. He simply said "buy a Honda". He said the Toro's that are good are the commercial ones. The ones that you have to get at the lawn shops, not the ones homedepot carries..
This is the input from someone that had to dow lawn mowing for a living in Texas. So basically mowing 5 days a week... Oh, and city employees aren't exactly easy on the equipment....
Hope this helps..