Pros: Features, Cost, Automatic Transmission.
Cons: Seat could use denser foam.
I have the DYT 4000 Model 27364, It has the 18.5 Briggs and with the 42" Deck. I wanted a bigger one but I have 3 places in my yard with 43" of clearance, so this is the biggest I could get.
At first I was worried about the engine being too small but the tractor has more than enough power.
I took several readers advice and got the Automatic. I can not emphasize enough how great the automatic transmissions is, with one hand on the lever you can slow down to a creep to make a close turn then right back up to full speed. It is definably worth the $200 SEARS charges for it.
The tractor was delivered to me, and I did the full "before you start" pre-check and the tractor only needed a 1/4 inch adjustment to the deck. Most people would allow for that since it is in range, but not me.
I read several reviews and tractor web forums, plus went to 5 different stores before choosing the DYT4000.
My final two choices came down to the John Deere L110 and the Craftsman DYT 4000. Largely because consumer reports showed them to be the most reliable having the fewest repairs of all major brands.
Feature wise they were pretty close. But the Craftsman came in at several Hundred dollars less.
But that is not what made the decision for me. I have some trouble with my right ankle, which made driving the John Deere very hard for me since the Forward and Reverse are controlled by your right foot. The Craftsman has a right hand control which lets my ankle rest! I am taking the money I saved and getting a nice new line trimmer.
I only mulch (Mulching is the equivalent of adding 4-1-3 fertilizer every time you cut the grass), and my yard was over do for a cut when the tractor was deliver. In the entire yard I had only one clump when I speed through some very tall (6 to 8 inch) St. Augustine grass. Once I reversed over the area and adjusted speed for the tall stuff that did not happen again.
Also, I have read many complaints about tractors having trouble in wet grass. Well most people should know you should only cut grass when it is DRY! Afternoons are best when the sun is not beating on you but has dried up the yard.
Even if you have used a ridding tractor your entire life, review the manual it has several safety tips which make perfect sense yet I see people violate all the time.
Consumer reports also suggested that you use hearing protection with ALL tractors.
Also Note: that Safety issues are the main reason I did not give the product Excellent on the Ease of Use category. Although the Tractor is very easy, an operator need to learn a lot about safety before using ANY Lawn tractor. Every year preventable deaths and injures are caused by people not following the safety rules.
Another company called Kubota which makes great but expensive lawn tractors has a great safety site here:
I highly recommend reading this site no matter which tractor you purchase.