Best Gas-powered String Trimmers

I'm interested in buying the best-rated, lowest maintenance, easy-2-operate gas-powered string trimmer.
I'd prefer one with a straight-shaft, 1-hp or larger engine to trim 1+ acre yard. I don't need the attachment items (brush cutter, blower, etc.) as I already have those items separately. I've looked at Homelite, Toro, Cub Cadet, Troy-bilt, Craftsman, Echo, Ryobi models. Anyone with particular model preference and positive (or negative) stories to relate here would be appreciated. Is a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine better? Which model does have the easiest starting, ease of operation, etc.? Thanks.
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Check out the new STIHL FS 55 with Easy2Start. It has plenty of power and the new system is very very easy to start. JD

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Here is a repost from when someone else had a similar question. Just ignore the references to attachments:
After years of frustrating experience with string trimmers, I finally broke down and bought an Echo. I've been using the one I have now for about the last nine years and it still runs as good today as when I first bought it. The model I have is the SRM-2400SB. They don't make it any more, but they have a model which is basically the same thing. The one I have takes different attachments. I use the trimmer and edger attachments. The trimmer attachment works far better than any I've ever used. One or two bumps on the ground and I have all the line I need every time. The edger attachment works great too. No longer do I try to edge with the trimmer and wind up with an edge that looks like crap. The trimmer is very light for the size and power it has. It's easy to handle and maneuver and I don't need a strap to carry it. Also in the last 9 years I have NEVER had to adjust the carburetor. Even when the motor is cold it runs well. I just have to choke it to get it started and then I flip the choke off and I don't have to worry about it. Make no mistake, Echo trimmers are some of the most expensive out there. But in my experience it's just not worth messing with cheaper models that never work right. Almost all of the commercial lawn mowers in my area use Echo trimmers and edgers. These guys run their equipment all day long and I'm sure they are only going to buy the best.
Which ever one you get there are two basic things I think are important in any trimmer. First is a lined cylinder. Unlined aluminum cylinders don't last and should be avoided completely. Second is the size line the trimmer uses. My trimmer uses .095 line. This means I only have to reload the spool once per year even though I'm trimming 1/2 acre which is surrounded by fence and walls. It also means instead of constantly feeding out more line and reloading spools, I'm trimming. I only have to feed line out once or twice each time I use it. When I bought the trimmer about 9 years ago, I bought a large spool of good echo line. I haven't even put a dent in the spool. Echo line is not round and has a cross-shaped cross section which seems to make a big difference. Also whichever one you get, make sure you use the right type of oil to mix with the gas. It's best to buy the oil made by the manufacturer of your trimmer because there are different types of oil and using the manufacturer's brand insures you have the right type.
Before I bought the Echo, I had a Stihl. I had heard Stihls were supposed to be good (highly rated by consumer reports at the time). My experience did not go so well. The trimmer didn't have a cylinder lining and used size .080 line. The thing wore out after two years and during that time I was constantly fiddling with the line. The motor never seemed to run well and I had to make adjustments to the carb all the time. It was a miserable time and I shudder every time I think of those days. I take very good care of my equipment and I expect it to last for many years and work reliably. I'm sure other people have had good luck with Stihl, but that wasn't my experience.
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evolutionman 2004 wrote:

I have a Stihl FS 110 RX - straight shaft, 1.3 hp with the 4-Mix motor. It's built more for the professional landscaper (which I am not, but I wanted a quality machine.) Very smooth, powerful and well built.
- John
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ECHO!SRM210

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