Re: toes. When I was a kid, our Craftsman push mower required standing on the blade deck and yanking a chord attached to the engine. I have to believe that a misstep would put one's foot just under the edge. These days, of course, all mowers have a kill switch attached to the handle and the chord has been extended to there. The kill switch gets stuck on mine, so it stays on when I go to get a sip or something and I'm a little wary of it chasing me across the yard.
Re: leaf blowers. I have one and use it to clean out our gutters, the garage and to dispose of the 18 zillion seeds, petals and other gunk dropped by the numerous trees on the property. A broom would work, but would take 10 times as long. Sometimes I use the broom when I want to listen to music and be contemplative. But often I'm in a hurry to, y'know, not be sweeping, so I use the leaf blower. It's electric, but plenty loud. I limit this activity to the middle of the day, however.
Re: lawnsanity. Can we talk about edgers now? When I moved into my neighborhood, I noticed that many of my neighbors edged their lawns, so I bought one of those manual, circular edgers from the hardware store. I then realized how much of a hassle it is to edge your lawn if it hasn't been edged before. DON'T DO IT! I think once you edge it with a power implement, you can just maintain it with these medieval devices, but going from un-edged to edged takes a long time and a lot of back/forth with that thing. It'll drive you insane. And for what? So your lush lawn terminates at a cliff? Sure, it looks nice and neat, but it also labels you as some kind of perfectionist.
Thankfully, as youngsters move into my neighborhood, the compulsion to edge has diminished.