I have several pieces of equipment, each one is a compromise. If I were to get one tractor it would be a 4x4 front loader/backhoe. They are expensive, but do the work of two or three of the below pieces:
I have a 1959 Hough wheeled loader, 2-3 yard bucket, very heavy, not very maneuverable.. not articulated, but a rear wheel steer. It is 4x4, and in low gear [has automatic shuttle trans with reverser] it can really push or pull, it has more pull on good surfaces than my little dozer.
I have a 1960's JD 450B dozer with 6-way blade. a nice grading dozer, but not heavy enough for serious stump pulling or cutting/digging into virgin ground. I've used a Cat D6, now that can dig and push!! 3x the weight!!
I have a 1960's Case front loader/backhoe, 2 wheel drive, with extendahoe. A 580CK I think [560CK?] A very good but worn tractor, I'm lost without it. But it really needs to be 4x4, I can get it stuck on soft ground with a loader bucket full of anything. the front end sinks into soft ground, and even with the weight of the backhoe, it needs front axle drive. With a new set of rear tires it manages OK, but I'm always thinking about 'will I get stuck here??'
Best but small unit is my 1980's maybe 1990's JD855 4x4 compact utility tractor with a Hardy self leveling loader, 72" belly mower, 29hp diesel, Power Steering, turf tires all corners, runs forever on a few gallons of diesel, is easy to drive and maneuver. I wish I could make it 3x as big for my bigger jobs, I'd sell the rest of the stuff.
Gary, if you can afford it, buy a 4x4 Loader/backhoe, it will hold it's value, my ancient 2wheel drive one is still worth what I paid for it 15 years ago.
You can always sell it when you are done, and recoupe most of your money. Fighting with an undersize or inadequate piece of equipment often breaks the equipment or hurts the operator [getting unstuck etc]
Find a neighbor who will trade work who has a tractor, or try the rental deal, or find an excavator with a spare or two, and rent one cheap, There are lots of ways to make it work.
Be carefull, I've been hurt running equipment several times, hit on head by tree limbs, rock coming out of front bucket, springy roots when digging out a stump, pulling roots/rock/broken concrete out of wheels/under axles, and many I have forgotten. Just be carefull, the machine can only do so much.
Take care, Greg L
take a look at http://www.tractorbynet.com
has lots of info.