I agree. , I have a B&S 5.5 hp on Billy goat leaf sweaper - 15 years old and starts every time, but v noisy, you feel the piston moving... never been serviced works every time. Also an 8hp B&S on an ancient second hand Countax leaf sweeper (we have a leaf problem) , the Honda on the small lawnmower is quieter and of course ultra reliable. I once had a B&S on a Mountfield that needed a services when new, to get the carburetor tuned. It was a emergency purchase from B&Q after we moved into a rented house and needed something quick. It then worked fine for 15 years before I hit a tree stump and bent the shaft.My experience with B&S engines is that they last for years but are extremely noisy compared to, say, a Honda.
I would ask yourself, do you really need the expense, storage issue of a ride on? If you plan to mulch. Although its quicker and less physical effort than a non-ride on mower, you plan to cut down on the acreage, its only used for 7.5 months of the year, and if you are not picking up the grass that is the main effort with a non drive machine, I suspect you only have at most 1hr a weeks mowing on a non-ride machine. Although my old man at 89 has given up mowing and pays someone to use his heavy Webb, so you would be future proofing the task.