Sergeant...another question. I just looked online at a 240. It looks like the attachment lift handle is on the fender??? Hard to tell from a photo, not knowing the tractor. If this is the case, was lifting the tiller hard to do?
I can't say enough about the 30" tiller. You definitely need to hang onto it, as it is much easier to find a tractor to fit it than to find a good tiller to fit your tractor! I picked up a heavily used and abused 30" tiller for a whopping $60 a couple years ago. I think I paid more for the linkage to hook it up to my GT225. I've used it mostly in sandy soil, with thick, established bermudagrass. It pulverizes the sod in two or three passes, and fluffs the soil to 3 times its compacted volume. It's reasonable that they're $1500 new, as they are very rugged.
I also found one for my Dad, in much better shape, for around $200. He uses that one with his 265 (same as 240, but with bigger engine and hydro). I think the fender lift is actually a better setup than the conventional lever on my GT series. I'm no Olympian, but on my last physical fitness test I pulled my 200lbs up to that chin-up bar 17 times, so I consider myself in decent shape; and my back gets a bit stiff after an hour of continuously pulling the lever and twisting my lower back with my GT225 (with the spring set for my 44" deck). I think the 240/245/265 tractors with the lift lever on the fender are a better setup. It takes a LOT more strength to lift the tiller than a mower deck, and on this tractor, it is very easy to adjust the spring tension (no tools required). Plus it's a more natural body movement to pull straight up (265) than from a forward quadrant (early GT series). I've never used a tiller with a foot-lift tractor, but I imagine that would be an ideal setup. No--ideal would be a hydraulic lift like on GX series and 320+. When tilling, you typically raise the attachment a lot more often than you do while mowing. So it's important to have a comfortable lift system.
One feature I like about the Deere tiller setup (not that I've used any other brands') is that since you're using the mower lift linkage, you can take advantage of either having it float or lock down. In float mode, if you hit a rock or a large tree root, it will just bounce off. If you've been through the soil a few times and know it's free of hazards, you can lock it down for a pass and go a full six inches down.
There are three linkage kits used to adapt the 30 tiller to the previous generation of belt-driven garden tractors:
BM20325 for the GT242-275 (the ones with Jeep-like plastic fender flares)
BM21343 for the GT225-245 and GX255
BM20325 for 240-320, 325-255D, GX325-355
I would definitely look for a hydrostatic tractor, since sometimes you really need to be able to creep along when tilling hard ground. Some good candidates to look out for which you might find for less than $1,000: 245, 265, GT275. For up to $1500, you might find a GT225, GT235, 285, 320 or 325.
BTW: the problem with selling these tillers is that buyers aren't sure it will fit their tractor. If you decide to abandon the idea of buying a new tractor, and sell it on eBay: offer nationwide shipping (strap it to a pallet and call UPS freight--at buyers' cost), and NAME EACH MODEL IT FITS, if it's still in like-new condition, you should have no problem getting $400 for it. I would think with the recession, people might be even more inclined to have a massive vegetable garden to grow their own food. Just a thought.