Several years ago I was the GM for an outdoor power equipment company. One of the products we sold were ECHO leaf blowers. I use a "BackPack" type leaf blower and the performace is incredible. Here is a link to the model:
Be careful when you compare specs on blowers (MPH & Air Volume). There is no industry standard/regulation on how to test for air speed and air volume. Because of this, many manufactures (Sears in particular) manipulate the tests to make their blowers appear more powerful than they are.
I have been using backpack leaf blowers to dry vehicles for about 12 years now and would never want to be without one.