Hi meep and JTK,
Indeed, it's basically identical to the Ariens Ikon X 42, with a slightly higher horsepower rating (24) for the same Kohler 725cc engine model. According to what I've read and my Gravely dealer, Ariens owns Gravely, and they appear to have consolidated manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin. Looking over everything prior to use, I noticed a loose adjustment nut on the steering lever, checked the tire pressures, repositioned a hose clamp on the fuel filter housing, and trickle charged the battery.
We've mowed with it once so far, and it was a nice experience (let's be honest, anything would seem like a nice experience after mowing an acre with a 22" self-propelled in the Georgia heat, we're already in the 90s every day). Fast, not too difficult to drive, and easy to use. It's capable of going faster than I'd probably ever want to mow my yard. I really like having the foot-pedal mounted deck lift, which saved me from doing dumb stuff a couple of times. The mulch kit works great-- can hardly see any discharge at all, and I got an extra set of blades for next year out of it. On the slopes, it did fine, there was maybe one spot where I spun the rear tires and made a little divot, before deciding to leave that piece of grass to my trimmer. I can really get the machine into surprisingly tight quarters because of the adjustable speed and (obviously) the turning radius.
My next door neighbor owns a commercial 48" Dixie Chopper zero turn, and suggested setting the speed with one steering arm, and then using the other one to make directional corrections. That seemed to help make handling a little less "jerky". He also warned us about spinning the tires or going from forward to reverse too aggressively, as that will tear up the grass. I did manage to do that a couple of times...and am still working on trying to go perfectly straight while mowing. So, there's a little bit of a learning curve.