I bought my dad a $1k log splitter from Lowe's this xmas. Like Mad Mike says, they were all outside chained up and sitting in the rain. Got the thing home and filled with oil, gas, hyd. fluid, tried to start - nada. Noticed rusty water seeping out of the muffler. Pulled the plug and spun it over and a spew of water gushed forth... A sorry way to sell if you ask me. They did take it back and brought out another fresh from the supplier. That one leaked gas after a few days... Sorry, indeed...I'm not even box-store, my MTD is 24 years old and second hand
The stuff I see at Home Depot and Lowes these days is kind of dissapointing. Mowers with loose handles, mowers missing parts, mowers with documentation strewn about the aisle. Lowes is a little better and has a better selection, but not that impressive.
What I miss is when the "box stores" like Ace Hardware, lowes,and Wests used to display their new walk-behinds with some dignity. I remember being a little kid in ace hardware and EVERY MTD, Murray, Cub Cadet, or Lawn-Boy was sitting on a polished up chrome rack, all shiny and new, and lowes used to do the same thing. Now they just chain a bunch out front while they weather away. The only box store that still does that is Sears.