A few things in random order to think about...
Everyone has a different tolerance for how much mowing is too much, but it is good exercise. A reel type push mower is great for small areas. Well oiled, with sharp blades, it is a pleasure to use.
IMHO, yards with many small trees can be the least fun to mow. I'd go for a zero turn mower if I had such a yard again.
If you DO collect the clippings from a mower, just use them to start a compost pile in back. Don't throw them away! That pile will by next year be black gold, great to add to gardens, mix into the soil for new plantings. Just mix it up every month or so with a pitchfork. Add any plant based kitchen waste to the pile, even shredded paper is fine. (I've even added as large as a 10 pound dead carp at times. Its gone in a few months - worm food.)
Any mower deck is best if maintained. Avoid mowing when the grass is wet, as the wet grass will rust out the mower deck. If I must mow then, I'll scrape off the wet grass.
Beware of the mowers that give you a hose fitting to clean out the mower deck. This tends to get water into the bearings from everything I have heard.
Sharpen the blades when needed. Sharp blades are important. This will be depend on the soil type in your area. Sandy soil will dull them quickly. The blade type also matters. High lift blades are good, as they suck up the grass and mulch it well, but high lift blades also dull much more quickly from my experience.
For a 3/4 acre lawn, a small tractor or a self propelled mower can both work, but consider if you will do other things with a tractor. I use mine to mow, plow the driveway, move dirt, stone, rock, mulch, gravel, do road/driveway repair, move wood, etc. And we have less than a 3/4 acre lawn.
Note that if you DO use a tractor to mow, this can cause compaction of your lawn. (Heavy tractor = more compaction.) In turn you may need to periodically aerate that lawn to help it to grow properly.
Don't cut the grass too short. Mowing more often, but leaving the grass a bit longer is good, as that leaves the grass with more ability to tolerate some drought.
A mulching mower is good in the fall too - just mulch the leaves down - why pick the leaves up to throw them away? Alternatively, if your mower has a bag, mow the leaves up, and add them to the aforementioned compost pile. Black gold!