I like the tube frames with the hi-lo shifter,for tilling,the first gear low in low range is a perfect match,with the hydro your always back pedaling on the pedal,for larger work can't beat the large frames,with a loader on them alot more stable,also with the extra hp you can push about anything,this is just my past experience and IMO
All depends on how your going to use it. If your thinking of gardening primarily, a hydro will be real nice for the back and forth maneuverability. But not the best for on a tiller where you will want a tube frame with the HI LO like Blackjackjake said. I have 2 medium frames, a G16XT with is gear driven 4 speed and a H16XL which is a hydro. They are my most used tractors for summer use. Winter the G12 with a 14 hp Tech has the thrower for the power and various speeds and the H16 has a front blade for moving the lighter stuff. All in what you going to use it for and the bottom of the pocket.
I love my 1254, darn thing is a tank. It's small enough to move around quickly, but has enough snort to do a lot of jobs. I really would love a 1256, and I will be looking for one this coming spring. Never had an LF but I would love to get one someday!