"I got this 1000 Model when I came to Maine. It did well for 3 years, then the engine went nuts, and nuts is polite, as the engine block wall blew out and took the piston with it and hasn't been found yet.
Sears didn't care, so I went to Northern Tool and got a new engine. I called them at their Richmond Virginia store (it's the closest one), told them what happened and asked if they had a solution.
Apparently I am not the only one to have this happen, and Northern Tool was ready. They had an upgraded engine, a better B&S, crated and on the way in under an hour via UPS (a mistake no one should have to go through !). It got it here and to my guy stripped the frame, repainted it with Ben Moore DTM Black, let the paint set up and dry, and put it in - all in under 90 minutes. That was the smartest move I ever made, and the best money I ever spent.
I have 2 acres, all yard, and it grows, but I have yet to go through more than 10 gallons a season (April to very late October) no matter how fast or high the grass grows, or how frequently I cut.
This new B&S is frugal with gas. Maintenance wise, I'm on my second set of spindles, Maine and rocks being what they are, and on my 4th set of blades. However, the deck, at 42 ", just keeps on going.
The only real pain is the tires, which are the cheapest Sears could get away with. Spend the money and get real tires, not the cheap ones Sears sells, and get them mounted, or better yet, replace the whole tire / wheel combo, and be done with it.
The frame is indestructible, and with the right synthetic oil, the B&S engine is too.
For me, the 1000 was a Sears 'late bloomer' that they needed to do more work on, and invest in, to make it a winner. That they didn't shows why Sears is getting clobbered by the competition. If they had looked at their customers more, and less at their balance sheet, they wouldn't be in the mess they are in, and getting worse by the day. "