When I got my 29 HP Exmark Lazer ZX 5 years ago, it operation was a learning curve for me also. But after a couple of mowings, you will get the hang of it and you will love it. My Exmark does over 10 MPH and with a 60" blade takes about 20 minutes for me to do an acre with a lot of trees and landscape details to mow around. That's versus the 2 hours it use to take me on my 48" deck John Deere lawn tractor (the real John Deere, not the Home Depot version). My Exmark is pretty much overkill for a 1 acre homeowner and cost well over double what you paid so I think you made a wise decision.