I have a 1985 NH488 that I purchased when it was 24 years old. I have been cutting with it for four years now with no trouble. It cost at the high end of your range, is easy to figure out and work on and maintain. It does not take much HP to run as others have said. If I were you I would pick up a good 488 or JD1209 if you are not planning on additional acreage in the next few years.
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