I have to agree with danbike -
JD and the big box have an agreement that the big box cannot under-sell a servicing dealer for the same machine...So what is the incentive to buy it at the big box?
The 5-Star JD dealer I purchased my JD X300 from has their sticker under every "LA" series hood at the big box because they set those machines up. Nobody at the big box near me knows the time of day so you'll have every opportunity to make a bad choice there if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.
There's no service or parts a the big box, no advice, no delivery, etc. Plus they are glad to sell you the machines that sat out in the rain for a month with a moldy seat and rusty hardware, all for the agreed on fixed price. Bargain?
I went to the dealer and drove an L125 ($2,000) and an X300 ($2,800) side by side. Didn't bat an eye at the $800 premium on the X300. Best choice of all.
JD financing made it easy, and everybody won but the big box...and they don't need to win any more...
As far as throwing snow goes...I went with a Toro Powermax 828XLE for $300 less than the snowthrower alone on the Deere - Then you add wheel weights, chains, wear and tear on the Deere. Big time, Big $$. Just push a botton on the Toro and you're throwing 2000 lbs. of snow a minute. Done in minutes, no converting the tractor summer to winter and back, no wear and tear, tearing your back up putting on wheel weights, etc. You're back in the house in no time. And yes, that came from a dealer for the same money as a Sears-like machine at the big box.
That's my two cents!