We had a service call this morning for a water leak that developed recently in our clothes washing machine. A quick inspection revealed that the internal rubber hoses had undergone deterioration after 15 years of service (the external hoses we had replaced years ago with stainless steel versions). Patching the hoses was not possible because of the high pressures involved during use, and a quick calculation suggested that the $275 replacement cost for the internal components would be illogical on such an old appliance. So we need to replace the washer.
The serviceman was knowledgeable and helpful in answering a lot of our questions regarding new clothes washers. He indicated that the nationally-mandated changeover to high-efficiency washers is resulting in some consumer dissatisfaction. The new ones use only 10 gallons of water for a full load (vs. 50 gallons on our old Kenmore one), they often have no center agitator, and they do not offer pre-soak cycles. In his experience the Samsung washers are experiencing problems even after just a few years of use. Whirlpool is no longer available, having been bought by Maytag. LG machines he views as the most reliable.
I would welcome readers' comments re clothes washers (and dryers), including opinions of specific brands/models, top-loading vs front-loading, and user tips. This will be a totally unscientific survey, but over the years I have found the readership here to be diverse and uncommonly intelligent and well-informed.