if u do a search on the internet u will realise that front load is better than top load because
1) Save water
2) Save electricity
3) Cleaner clothes due to the washing mechanism as compared to top load which is just swirling your clothes around
4) Gentler to your clothes (so can wash wired bras
5) Spin dryer so if u are using a tumbler dryer, your clothes will dry faster so save electricity on your dryer
6) Has water heater function to wash clothes in warm or hot water (good for baby clothes)
7) Has delicate wash function (especially Ariston one which feature the Cashmiere wash which is supposely able to wash hand wash items)
However the drawbacks on front loads are
1) Must use special low sud washign power
2) The rubber may not last and water will seep into the machine causing rust and algae growth
3) Cannot put more clothes in once washing start
4) Longer washing time
5) Putting in clothes more tedious as you have to bend down
but all in all i think if u want to save water and electricity and be gentle on your clothes, front loads are better and cleaner.
as for the brands, yes if u have the money indeed go for more reliable brands like electrolux, zanussi, ariston, thomson etc.
But I think LG brand is also a good brand. they are offering 2 years warranty for their top load one which comes in 5 and 7 kg. i am thinking 7 kg is cheap and so can wash my clothes only during weekends. selling for $659(with free LG microwave oven) at Best and $499 and $359 for the 5 kg one at Audio House. Their 5 kg one comes with a LCD panel displaying the time required for the different wash program. the door catch is made of iron instead of plastic like some of the other european brand and the sales person told me iron catch is more lasting. The interior is made of stainless steel.
any comments on LG front load is very much welcome!!