I have a 2 stroke on it last legs right now. It hangs on the back of a little Cape Dory. I'm gonna run it till it dies and then get a 4. Its a little 1997 5hp Tihatsu! Try and find parts for that thing!
Whenever moving parts are involved I look at some commonality and available parts and labor. (I am a logistician at heart.) So, I'm trying to get a good deal on a 5 or 6hp Mercury 4 stroke.
Although my needs right now don't require alot of hp. I only run it to get out of the slip and I set sail ASAP to kill the noise.
My personal decision is based on the following factors:
-Simplicity of maint
-Simplicity of operation (one begets the other)
-Definition of use (i don't need it to make way)
-My wife has to be able to operate and maintain it.
For me - Price is less of a factor becasue initial costs are only a one time hit.
The recurring costs of ops & maint are the real kicker (they sneak up on you and kick you in the keister when your not looking!). Recurring costs can well exceed the price you might save on a "great deal
" you may find if your not careful.