I actually like the 21 inch self-propelled plastic deck mower. But before I purchased it I called EGO customer support and asked for all the differences between that model and the new steel deck model. I was told that the only differences were in the size of the deck (21 inches vs. 20 inches), the material of the decks (plastic vs. steel), the weight of the mower (I was told the steel deck mower weighs more than the plastic), and the position of some of the controls on the handle. Nothing was said of how the steel deck mower has a brushless mower and the plastic deck deck has a brushed mower. On the basis of what the EGO customer service representative, I purchased the plastic deck. However, if I had know that the two models had different motors, with the steel deck mower having a brushless mower, I would have bought that model instead. So that's the main reason why I'm considering a return. I'm also not totally satisfied with the mulching capacity of the 21 inch model and its lift. I'm hoping both are improved on the steel deck model. Based on what Steve Valdes has written, it seems that the new steel deck may in fact be improved in those two areas over the older 21 inch plastic deck mowers.
I'm definitely considering the high-lift blade, but I like to cut grass at a tall height because I've read that it helps to reduce the need for watering, reduces weeds, and makes the grass healthier. Right now I'm cutting at 4 inches, but I'm seeing a lot of matted grass, so I'm going to cut it at 3.5 inches or 3 inches to see if that helps the matting problem. I don't want to cut any lower than 3 inches, though. And I've read in this forum how people think the high lift blade may not help so much at cutting heights 3-4 inches, so I'm not sure that blade is going to help me. I may just have to live with some matted-down grass.