The current issue of Consumer Report has an evaluation of lawnmowers, among other things. It talks about many types and many mfgrs..
Mulching may be over-rated depending on your perspecitive. BUT, if you are a text-book lawnmower-ist, then since you're only cutting 1/3rd of the blade at a time, mulching is a very good idea. Beyond that 1/3rd, the grass may 'clump', mulch-mower or not. My Ariens is a mulchers, bagger, and side-shooter. I am not a textbook lawnmower-ist. (I cut whatever grass there is to cut, 1/3rd or not, and I mulch.)
I know B&S are good engines but I can't speak much for what they're mounted on. Our household used a B&S before my time, and as a kid (and as a young adult) for 20+ years. But, we didn't have that much to cut either.
A few tips: Keep the blade sharp, usually once per year. DO the annual maintenance on the mower that's in the owner's manual. (It will lengthen the lifetime of your mower!) Don't use the mower as a wood chipper. Keep your lawn free of stones and stuff. Keep the mower covered or in a shed. I'm sure there are others but these are the ones I follow very closely.