I just read all these replies and there is some great info! I was told, when I asked a similar question of a mechanic who sold merc but wasnt my regular mechanic, "Most any quality brand ie merc, yanaha, honda etc are good motors but when you choose which brand to go with pick the one your regular mechanic works on. He/she's the one who's gonna work on it when it breaks and they ALL break at some point."
Just thought I would pass it along. One thing I would add thats my .02 is if you're going to have a battery for electronics, radio, riggers etc I would consider spending some extra money on a motor with an alternator.