My old Deere srx95 just blew the drive belt and will be a costly repair. The 12.5hp Kawasaki motor still runs like a champ though. I just dont think that spending several hundred dollars on this mower again is going to be worth it, although fixing it will still be cheaper then buying a new mower. It has served me well since '92.

So I'm on the fence between a zero turn or a tractor. I mow a 1/2 acre of nice thick TTTF about every 2 to 3 days. I have a slight hill in my back yard and not many obstacles to mow around. I dont have a huge budget and I dont want or need any commercial or professional grade mower.

Mowers I'm looked at thus far are:

Cub cadet zt1

Cub cadet xt2

John deere x300 series (i was told the 100 series arent that great)

John deere zero turn (heard mixed reviews)

Snapper tractor and zero turn

Zero turn mowers 

I do my own aeration once a year, pull a spreader and cart occasionally. Dont know how good a zero turn is for that job and dont know how it would handle my slight hill.