The reasons I recommended the Deluxe 28 compared to the other Toro and Ariens machines are the price, the great condition and most importantly the 414cc engine.
If it had been a Toro in similar condition and price with a significantly more powerful engine than the other machines, I would have recommended it.
My recommendation to someone who is looking for a new snow blower on this forum is always to check them out in person, get hands on them, compare build quality and ergonomics of the controls, different features. Wheel them around the show room or parking lot etc. I also suggest they check out Ariens, Toro and Honda machines depending on their budget.
Three features of toro that I love. 1 no shear pins On my street only one person owns a orange painted snow blower and every time he’s clearing his driveway he’s changing a shear pin. 2nd feature I like is the quick stick don’t have to hand crank the chute. 3rd is the anti clog feature heavy wet snow no problem. If there’s a fourth reason I like Toro is the customer service from my dealer.
Everyone is different and has different opinions and likes and dislikes.
The first 2 points that you love about Toro, I don't like.
I have only broke 1 shear pin in 45 years of blowing snow and it makes sense to me to have a sacrificial shear pin to protect the auger gear box.
I had an MTD machine with a joy stick chute control, it was awful. I did check out the Toro machines before I bought my Ariens, I didn't like it. I preferred the simple bullet proof crank design.
I don't doubt that your machine doesn't clog in wet heavy snow, mine doesn't either.
I agree good customer service from your dealer is definitely a bonus and selling feature, glad you found a good one, but all brands have good and bad dealers.
Don't assume that just because someone is recommending the same brand of machine that they own it is biased. I have recommended Toro machines over Ariens before when the Toro was the best machine/deal of the ones he was looking at.