DO NOT BUY A NEW ARIENS.
This year, had to buy a new one, I bought a Toro. I actually love the features that help you turn around with ease. I mean EASE. Also the snow turning thing is the best I've ever used.
Can't talk about longevity yet ofcourse.
I bought a new 11.5 HP Ariens from Home Depot last year and I simply can't use it. Unbelievable amount of problems and I ended up having to limp through the season with an old Noma blower.
On the toro, they do not have a distinction between homeowner and commercial. I guess I bought the home owner version of the Ariens but from what I've heard, most of it is the same anyways. I can't remember a single thing that related to the problems I had. The gear shifter pops off so many times that I have to leave the bottom plate off to have access to it. The chute mover broke. The pull crank doesn't rewind most times so I have to leave it running. The belts burned off, never had that happen with even my 8 yo snow blower but the ariens burned the belt on DAY 1.
So far with my toro, I have gone through some deep drifts with no smell of burning rubber, but just in case I paid $160 extra for the extended warranty lol.
Someone told me they were a Simplicity dealer. I've never really heard to much of that blower but he said they will never let you down.