As promised, my son jumped in the seat before faster than you could say "ho do you do".
I did have a couple hours to get used to the FEL before he stopped by after work though. I hadn't messed with a bucket since working on my dad's construction crew (a Case loader/backhoe) but it is like riding a bike and the controls on the 1026 were smooth and the tractor is comfortable and surprisingly quiet for a diesel. We attached the brush cutter (Frontier RC2048) and tomorrow we're going to tackle the pretty rugged north 2 acres. I cut one 2-acre tract with the X310 and with the power steering and wider cut it was a dream! (More photos later).