Against my better judgement, I'll post anyway.
Please keep in mind that I'm not an outboard guru or genius. These are just my opinions and things that I've seen/heard, and a few that I've experienced.
I have a Yamaha SHO 250 and I really love it! I'll be the first to tell you that a Mercury or Evinrude will be faster, and of course that depends on your setup too. But as far as pure power and muscle, I think the SHO is hard to beat. I have a Skeeter and it's not a light boat. I'm a big guy and I carry a fairly heavy load. I feel like the SHO still gives me a good holeshot and very respectable top end. The SHO handles heavy loads very well, if not the best. I've had ZERO problems, it's good on gas mileage, and she runs pretty quiet up to 40 MPH; after 40 MPH I don't notice a difference in sound between any of the big 3 motor companies. I don't really have any complaints with it's performance. I know it's not the fastest motor out there, but it dang sure is reliable. Talking with Yamaha repair guys and several different pros, I've come to the conclusion that the SHO is built to be run hard and be a workhorse. It's not like a fancy, Italian sports car, it's like a muscle car.
Now, every motor is gonna have it's problems. I don't care if it's an Evinrude, Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki, Honda, Tohatsu, whatever!... All motors have their pros and cons. I suggest you do as much research as possible, take everything into account including: gas mileage, do you run a heavy load, do you make long runs, is there a maintenance shop close to you, can you afford the maintenance... all the little things matter.
If you decide to get the SHO, make sure you BREAK IT IN PROPERLY! Do not take it to your local lake and just let her rip! Follow what the manual and the dealer tells you. I promise you that if you take the time to do it correctly, it'll pay off and last for as long as you want. But if you take it out there and just start running her, she'll break your heart... and your wallet. Once you've broke it in, let her fly!
With all of this being said, outboards nowadays are super reliable and easy to maintain. Whatever brand you go with, I'm sure you'll be pleased with it.
Good luck with your search and tight lines!
"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." - Doug Larson