Couple quick questions for you, Oilburner:
After the basement, are you planning on using this equipment for other business, or is it just staying in the family for personal work? Are you talking big round bales?
There's several guys here with more experience on skidsteers than I, so I'll let them discuss things from their experience.
Since you've got tractor experience, I'd suspect that you have considered and ruled out a CUT with an FEL and Hoe. Would seem to me that you could see around a bale better from a tractor seat than a skidloader seat. Like wise, seems to me for things like digging culverts and cleaning out ponds, I'd rather use a CUT with a hoe than a skidsteer mounted hoe, as with the CUT, you have hydraulics on both ends, and better counterbalance for nosing rearward down banks. Another advantage of the CUT is the ability to use 3 point hitch implements, for pasture maintenance, pulling the trailer, etc.
Others here would argue stongly for skidsteers, but I'd caution you to think long range. Regardless of what you end up with, you can always rent something to do something specific. (And the easy answer for cleaning out the pond might just be a mini-excavator. 360 rotation makes pond cleaning easy, and neither of the backhoes can do this.) Skidsteer Guys? - your turn.