Toro'* are good!! I have a self propelled mower and a sno blower. Both are 13 years old and still work great. I had to replace a drive pulley and a belt for the mower this year but at 13 years of service that is an acceptable replacement.
I've got a 17 year old MTD mower I've been trying to kill for the last 7 years. In thepast 7 years I haven't done a bit of maintenance; no fresh oil, filters, or sparkplugs. I don't even drain the gas for the winter season and the sob still started on the 2nd pull. Frinkin Briggs & Stratton 4.5hp motor!
About ten years ago, my Dad bought an old POS Craftsman riding mower. I'm talkin' about mid-70s here. Little 5hp motor, and it would lift the front end completely off the ground for ten feet or so if you rode the clutch right.