I bought a used 2006 Cyclone Rake Classic 3 years ago. When I bought it, it was already 10 years old and started on the first pull. I only had my first issue with it this year. It would idle slow and almost die. I called customer service and within 5 minutes we had the problem diagnosed and fixed, no parts needed! It was just a bolt on the "pressure plate" that worked itself loose over 13 years so the throttle lever would slip down. Tightened up the bolt and it's back to running like a top.
As far as picking up leaves, this thing is an animal. It picks up most of the pine cones from my one white pine and a good amount of the needles. The only complaint I have is sometimes if the leaves are wet, it will be difficult to unload and I will have to reach in and pull some of the debris out prior to dumping. I get around it by dumping when it's only 3/4 full if it's wet out.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend