6 months ago when I was shopping for a new saw, what I really wanted was a new 026 like the two old ones I bought used many, many years ago for $50. The day I went to the Stihl dealer he was out of the MS260, price of $500. I went with the MS290 instead, at $350. I wanted .325 chain on the new MS290 since I already had all that stuff with my old 026 saws, but the dealer did not have the proper sprocket, could order it. The new MS290 came with 3/8 chain so I stuck with what was already on it and what he stocked for it. I liked the 290. It started good, ran the same way everyday, didn't die when I set the saw down etc. unlike my old worn out 026's. But, the 290 was heavier, did not rev as high, didn't cut as fast, and the 3/8 chain always seemed like it took a little bit bigger bite than the 290 could handle. I always felt that it would have been better with the narrower/smaller chain on it. Looking at the horsepower ratings on Stihl's web site indicated to me that the MS260 and the MS290 would perform identically, except with the added weight of the 290. I was mistaken. Did not realize how much slower the 290 turns to make that horsepower, which equals a slower moving chain. Found out the other day that the MS260 is being phased out for a newer MS261 which runs much leaner etc. I'm not too sure I like the idea of the saw using less gas but producing the same amount of power, 10% less may be believable, but 50%? Just doesn't sound right to me. I want a saw identical to my old 026's because that's what I'm happy with. Saturday morning I sold my 290 to a friend that always wanted a Stihl saw, for $175. I had two new chains with it, a new 18 inch bar, and a new clutch bell assembly with removable sprocket which I also sold with the saw for an additional $100, a total of $275. I then took that $275 and immediately went to the dealer (and for an additional $225) bought the saw I really wanted in the first place, an MS260 PRO with .325 chain. (not the 261) And I cut a lot of wood with it over the weekend and it is exactly what I expected, just like my old saws, only new! Lighter and faster than the 290. I'm happy, my friend that bought the 290 from me is happy, all is right in my part of the world again. HAHA!