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My 20 year old MTD 38" w/ 12hp B&S IC engine bit the dust during the storm that hit last week. I was hoping to get another 10 years out of it, but a 14" diameter oak branch cut it short. The branch fell on the seat, the tires are doing a split, the crankcase cracked open, the cutting deck and body are both crushed to the floor. Anyway, a replacement is in order.

I'm mostly using it to pick up leaves in the fall on a 1/3 acre lot and for basic lawn cutting duty. I don't think I need anything fancy, but neither do I want to buy junk. The Murray M1338 looks about right and I can get rear bagger attachments for it. I'm concerned, of course, about the build quality of anything nowadays, particularly with all the mechanical parts, which if cheaply made will generate frustration.

So, what is a decent quality, yet relatively inexpensive riding mower that might fit the bill?
 
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