Traded my John Deere L130 for new Cub Cadet Z Force S 48. Cub Cadet had cut my mowing time in half and seems much more powerful than John Deere, which always seemed to have some issue despite being professionally maintained. Although the Z Force without the steering wheel was a little more maneuverable in making quick turn-arounds.
I picked the S model with the steering wheel because you can attach accessories to the back, where you cannot with the regular model, and the S model is supposed to be easier to use on slopes.
So far, I am very pleased with the Cub Cadet. The only negative would be the $4,000 price, which does not include a bagger or mulch kit.