This thread is an oldie but is showing more life today than it originally had. Here is my personal experience.

It's been 8 yrs now and I never once regretted my decision. I was replacing a JD 318, a legendary model. It walked away one day and I had insurance coverage. Insurance said I had $7k and I could buy what ever I wanted. Had both a JD and Cub dealer almost next door to one another. I looked both over and looking at models that were similar in features as the JD I was replacing. I bought the Cub, a 3204 model.

Liked the horiz shaft engine better on the Cub. Cub has shaft drive for both the trans and mower deck, the JD was belt drive. The cub's trans was cast iron, the JD was aluminum. Several of the components on the Cub were obviously beefier than the JD. The Cub weighed about 75# more than the JD and it showed it. On the Cub everything that moved had some kind of bearing, not on the JD. The 48" deck I chose tips the scale at 265# has a doz grease fittings, the mandrels for the blades are tapered roller bearings. Front wheels on the deck are caster mounted and deck is intended to ride on the ground.

After 8 yrs the only problem I've had is the starter solenoid went out a yr ago. I have a couple small hills and going down them, I let off on the HST peddle and the tractor slows down and when fully off the tractor stops and doesn't move and not using the brake. No issue going up the hills even with slower engine speed, just hear the engine pick up the extra load.

I will say the JD's typ have better styling and fit and finish than the Cubs but I didn't buy my machine for eye candy. As I said before, no regrets on the purchase.