I have read through all the posts on this thread and see a common thread through out. There is a great "marketing" lesson to be learned here. The discount stores all use "Brand Name Marketing" to make their discount products look like a great value when they are not. How do they do this? They go to the Brand Name producers and negotiate a discounted version (aka cheaper). Low and behold, an IR/John Deere/Husquvarna/Stihl/etc etc etc, that is just for Lowes/Home Depot/Tractor Supply/Northern Tools/Harbor Freight etc etc. I bought an IR compressor from a local garage that had a bad compressor. It had been replaced by warranty with an identical unit. The compressor had gone bad because one of the slinger arms had broken off and was not oiling the main bearings adequately. This arm probably was broken on assembly and was never caught until I tore down the compressor. The motor, a 7.5 HP Baldor was and still is fine. Before buying this broken unit, I went to the Northern Tool store and checked their prices on what I thought was the same compressor. Thanks to Old Red, I knew to look at the motor and guess what: what I thought was the same unit, had an Emerson motor installed. Their compressor was something like $2099.90 and the paper work on the warranty replacement compressor was over $3000. Was the local garage being ripped off? Don't think so. Their old compressor, now mine, and their warranty replacement compressor are still going fine.
Want to see more of this? Look at the John Deere green riding lawn mowers being sold at Lowes/Home Depot. Look close enough and you will see Made by MTD. Early on it was the Sabre by John Deere but that was dropped. MTD (Murray Tractor Division) makes most of the home owner's riding lawn mowers. "Tell us what you want and we will build it"