Thanks everyone! This site has been much more helpful and friendly than others I've visited.
You bring up an interesting point I hadn't considered HDWildBill. Can prices on these things potentially be negotiated? I had just assumed the sticker price is the price. If it helps any, I live in southwestern Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, MO. Is it worth trying to work with the dealer on pricing? For what I'm looking at though, I think the next steps up are either a considerable jump in price or a jump in size to the point that it would just be uncalled for with my size lawn, so it may not be worth the effort.
I had definitely heard the advice about purchasing from dealer vs big box store and found a Cub dealer about 30 minutes south of me. If I go with the Cub Cadet, that is for sure where I will be going. In addition to the service and repair work they offer, I would much rather put money into a local business and local people whenever possible.