I bought my 1026R new, in October 2011 and have just 12 hours on it so far. In a nutshell... This is a beautiful rig that's well worth the extra coin over JD's 1023E. An extra thousand bucks gets you work lights, front brush guard and a fistful of extra HP.
-Idiot proof H120 loader (upgrade); no need to get off tractor
-Very ergonomic seating for a big man like me
-Intuitive controls; everything easy to reach
-Big, super comfy seat w/folding armrests
-More horsepower than I'll ever need for my small estate (25 engine, 18 PTO)
-Excellent build quality top to bottom; feels like a Deere
-Butter smooth hydrostatic transmission
-Nice toolbox (included)
-Yanmar runs great; my neighbor across the street heard it once and said, "Sounds like a 3-cylinder!"
-All service points easily accessible
-Great operator's manual (one volume, not separate engine and chassis manuals)
-Generous cup holder and storage bin
Don't like: placement of the gas shutoff valve. Wearing boots, I unintentionally shut off the valve when moving my foot between pedals. It should be rotated 90 degrees.