As I mentioned in another review, I am not a fan of paying lots of money for lawn equipment. The work itself I don't mind, but paying for it...echh! But my old lawn mower lasted us a good eight years and I wasn't planning on pulling out the grass blade by blade.
Since we bought a Poulan brand gas trimmer, we figured to give it another shot by purchasing a Poulan Lawn Mower. After figuring out that I am too young to have a self-propelled mower and don't have a yard big enough to warrant a bag attachment, we settled on the 22" Poulan mower.
This lawn mower is pretty effective and gets the job done. It has a 22" radius and doesn't get easily caught up or stall when encountering things like wet grass. NorCal is famous for large periods of rain where you sometimes have to risk cutting wet grass or else you end up growing a perfect home for those stray gnome statues that seem to lose their way in Travelocity. The Poulan mower cuts through it just fine.
However, there are some slight issues you must be aware of should you purchase the Poulan lawn mower. First off, the protective rub strip attached to the back of the mower doesn't always like to lay straight. It is supposed to be there to keep your feet from catching rocks and little McDonald's toys left in the deep grass. Sometimes it gets easily caught underneath the mower. Ours came off because the blade eventually chewed it. All rocks are now removed from my yard and we don't get Happy Meals anymore, so I should be safe.
Also, if you keep the mower in cold storage, it can be a bear to start up. I recommend leaving it out in the sun for a day or else your back and biceps will get a good work out. If you choose not to take this advice, I recommend switching off every 20 pulls that way you don't have an imbalance of muscle build.
Other than that the Poulan lawn mower is a good buy and should last a few years in my shed.
Update On Apr 17, 2010: It's been a few years, and I still have this mower. I'm happy to say it still cuts like a charm. I did have to replace the pull cord, and the rubber guard on the back of the mower didn't last long, either. But it still starts up in the spring time.