i have been following all the posts here and have some questions. Correct me if I'm wrong but the older series pre 2014 were a lighter duty machine that had either some design or quality issues. From the sounds of it the 200 series was a good first year, sounds like they had a few manufacturing glitches but should be a good unit this year. Also I have been reading all the posts about the 300 series and if the machine is that much better (sounds like it is) I'm fine paying the money for the better unit. I see the warranty on these units are great, the motors are the same Ariens uses so no real issues expected one over the other there. The hydro transmission is a hydro gear sst and looking at the new Honda HSS724AW they have the exact same hydro gear. I found it looking up Honda parts they are the same, look it up, if you Honda guys are in disbelief,I was shocked . With that said the 300 series look to be a solid machine. The motor is solid, the hydro is solid, the cast iron gear case and case iron impeller have a 10 year warranty. So I'm trying to understand why this machine isn't wildly popular being $1,000 less than a Honda. What am I missing? Thanks for your help.