They are all excellent atvs and you could use any of them for what you are describing, but the 4wd Rancher would be your best machine for the money in the long run, for use and in resale value from being 4wd. The things to keep in mind is the amount of work duty you will be doing as the recon is air cooled, lighter, and less powerful, and of course 2wd. It will wear on the little Recon where it won't phase the Rancher.
You would be farther ahead in the long run by spending the extra money now on a 4x4 rather than buying a 2wd then selling it and losing money and buying the 4x4 later on. With you stating of buying a winch and getting accessories, it makes sense to get the 4x4 as the money will be better spent on the Rancher in the long run.
I have the Recon clone which is the Suzuki Ozark, and I've owned a Rancher 420ES 4x4, and had it for a long time with no mechanical issues,they are a great all around quad. The 250 is a very light duty work machine, and more of a fun trail rider, but a good quad in it's element. I have overheated my little 250 air cooled machine doing work duty before on an 80 degree day pulling around a cart full of dirt. It got hot where the Rancher being liquid cooled would never do that, and it struggled. Plus the low first gear on the Rancher with the engines good torque output and getting the power to the ground is much better on the larger machine without straining it. The all important 4x4 being there to keep you in control of the machine with a load behind it is a great safety factor also, and the clutch on the Rancher is very heavy duty as well as being FI. Also much less apt to flip over being heavier and a longer wheelbase with a load behind it if you need to go up some hills while pulling something.
There us nothing wrong with an ES equipped machine as it does have it's benefits and is more reliable than what you hear and read. That being said, I would get the base model Rancher with a foot shifter and no PS to save money on the purchase and still have a really good reliable machine that will holds its value better than any 2wd quad. If not new, there is some very nice used units out there that you could get also to save some expense also. At the very least get the 2wd Rancher as it is much more able to do what you are describing. Good luck with your new purchase.
05 Suzuki DR650, Mikuni TM40 flatslide pumper carb,JE 10.5:1 piston,stage 2#190 Webcam,open airbox, Twin Air,full FMF system,Pingel fuel valve,Ricor Racing rear shock, Ricor Racing fork Intiminators, Progressive springs, Sargeant seat,DRZ250 tailight,custom plate,LED's,GPS,sumo fender,PT bars,Cycra brushguards IMS lowered pegs, aluminum skid,bearing chain roller,Pirelli,tank bag(gone)
06 Zuk KQ700, Kenda Bearclaw HTR radials Warn RT25 w/ syn. line, 1.5mm clutch shims