OK, so the EPA or DOE or whatever rates washing machines based on saving water, energy, right? Most major brands of washing machines respond with products that actually waste more water, detergent, energy, time, using stupid stunts like these: 1) make the spin cycle faster. This means you must lock the lid down when spinning. If the lid is not transparent, you cannot see if anything has gone wrong, and if it does, it's STILL LOCKED. Part of the idea was to make the clothes dryer, thus saving time drying in an electric dryer (a toaster). No thought given whatsoever to the energy saving trick of using an indoor or outdoor clothes line. The bearings on some high speed spin models typically fail after only 3 years!!! 2) use MUCH less water. This means, in the case of an agitator, without sufficient water in which to move, clothes basically get torn to shreds. So they replace the agitator with an "impeller". The idea with this thing is to make the clothing (ever so carefully placed on the impeller) sort of convect in what little water there is. Except, it usually doesn't work that way. On models on YouTube with transparent lids, the clothes barely move at all as a result of the motion of the impeller. 3) use computer based control that removes things like soak cycles from washer repertoire, meaning that heavily soiled items don't get clean. Worse, because the user no longer has control over starting and stopping cycles to add clothing or laundry aids, or more water as necessary, most of the newer models give up and simply empty any water that is in the washer tub whenever a cycle is canceled, thus wasting more time, energy, detergent, money. I finally gave up and purchased a basic Hotpoint washer that still has the old style mechanical timer with three wash cycles and a knob in the center you can pull out to stop washing, rinsing or spinning at any time in any part of any cycle, and then resume the cycle in exactly the same place it stopped. The washer is not compliant with any government sponsored energy or water saving certification. Anyone who would pay extra for more bells and whistles on a machine that skimps on water anywhere in this country other than the desert Southwest should probably have their heads examined, or else just use dry cleaners for all of their laundry needs. What has happened to common sense engineering on appliances like washing machines? It is eminently possible to give users complete control over cycles using microprocessors, yet someone (in government, apparently) has mandated that such things be interlocked so that they cannot be defeated by operators more intelligent about laundering than a machine that is really nothing more elaborate than a stupid motor attached to a washer tub, a hot/cold water supply and a drain. Consumer reports apparently is in cahoots with the manufacturers or whomever wrote the specifications for these appliance abominations. Amazon seems to be the only place you can get honest critical customer reviews online. Vote with your bucks. What sort of washer would you buy? If you recently purchased one of these monstrosities, are you happy with it, as compared to the way these appliances used to work? A big chunk of our economy apparently depends on designing and selling such things, and both their utility and reliability seem to both be in the toilet right now. Water saving toilets eventually made the mainstream, and work well, but I doubt these things will ever make it. Some folks are already doing laundry in their sinks again, because at least that has enough water and an actual soak cycle. Thoughts?