So here I was riding back home from H-D's "100th" party in Milwaukee and spotted this big John Deere dealership. Having read wonderful things (and good prices) about the new (Oleo-Mac?) John Deere chainsaws, I pulled in and looked them over.
The CS56 (56.5 cc) really caught my eye. The build quality looked really top notch and no fooling. The cylinder is bolted on with base screws from the top for easy service and the chain cover is metal, not plastic. In fact the saw had a good solid feel and is probably a bit heavier at 12.6 lbs (powerhead). The price of $350 seemed okay too and online they are as low as $310. If I didn't already have 3 saws for firewood cutting, I'd be tempted to try one of these babies. It was clearly stamped "Made in Italy" and I presume it is an Oleo-Mac or a successor company.
The Deere dealership also handled Stihl and the salesman steered me over that way and said they sell 50 Stihls for every Deere saw they sell. He had the MS 260 for $450 -- a hundred bucks more than the CS56. He was pushing the MS 290 the most, however, and telling me that's the best saw for the price ($300). I picked one up and saw that the cylinder is bolted on from the bottom (like my Jons. 2050). I don't think that I like that system.
Of course if I did buy another saw, I'd also be tempted by Bailley's B51 (451 Solo?) for $300.
I like trying out different brand saws. It's fun and you don't need to be a millionaire either....
PS: I finally found some MX2T motorcycle oil at Checker Auto. Paid a lofty $5 for a pint, but now I'm a dues paying member of the MX2T Synthetic Oil Society! Now I can sleep nights peacefully knowing I now pocess the ultimate two-stroke oil.