I have'nt been mowing lawns as a fulltime job for long and am going to upgrade my mower shortly, my current mower is a domestic Troy-Bilt with a Honda GCV160 I bought it long before I ever started this venture out (only started mowing out of necessity love it though!) and chose it mainly because of the 21" cut and the Honda motor a motor brand I'd never owned before. To date it's done a fantastic job for a cheapish domestic mower I do find the motor to be a bit tempermental though, the base is strong but the handle is garbage I had to modify it as the wingnut bolt setup they come standard with broke when I was using the mower for only domestic use.
The reason I've given that background is although my mower is only a $600ish mower I've in a round about kind of way used it as a trial I guess to see what a Honda motor is like before spending $1000+, admittedly I do believe the motor is a bit tempermental but if I maintain it regularly I have no problems with it, the little bugger is super powerful to!
At the moment I'm still on the fence as to which one I'll buy although I must admit I'm swaying strongly towards the Honda HRX217HYU the only thing putting me off is the blade brake function. I also like the specs of the Victa 19" Corvette Alloy SP the only thing I don't like about the Victa is the 19" cut I love the thought of using a Briggs & Stratton though had Briggs for years and found them to be brilliant.
Not sure if I've helped at all........