This is my first visit to the discussion on washers and dryers. Looked at Samsung and others today, and have found these discussions and reviews interesting and quite helpful.
It was eye opening to read, FINALLY, that someone (Barbara) encountered a problem with items twisting into ropes in the Maytag top-load. I have been happy with my 18-year-old Maytag -- which vibrates more as it ages, it seems, and for which I will be looking into vibration control pads (thank you bloggers).
The only constant (since new) problem I've had with the washer is the sheets twisting into ropes. I have not had other items to twist like that, just the sheets. Even tried a high-end, very high thread count sheet set a few years back which turned out to rope more tightly than lower thread count sheets I've used, was much heavier soaked, and took much more energy to untwist.
I've tried to come up with ideas to prevent this but invariably I find myself going to the washer every 2-3 min. raising the lid and untwisting the rope. I've tried washing one sheet in a load, with smaller items hoping the motion between the varying sizes would keep the sheet from twisting -- to no avail. The sheet always ends up in a rope unless I repeatedly untwist it during the cycle. A nuisance and TIRING!
As I said, I've been happy with my Maytag other than this problem. And, after reading considerably today, I think I'll steer clear of the front loaders. I've used only top loading washers all my life, have had good luck with them, and have had minor servicing done easily and without breaking the bank. This has been an interesting read this afternoon, as I was considering springing for something pricey and impressive looking -- but then why -- they will reside behind closed doors.
I too read the CR ratings and then customer reviews and felt a bit lost with the conflicting information. I took the advice of my local appliance repairman and bought a top loading Whirlpool with knob controls. I bought a WTW57ESVW at Best Buy on sale for about $450.00 last Nov.We do about 15-18 loads a week. I really like this washer. It cleans well, rinses well, and meets my expectations. I had to adjust how I loaded sheets and large towels in the washer or else I had twisted sheets and towels. I had always tried to distribute the sheet or towel evenly around the agitator and that does not work. Now I lay a sheet using 1/3 to 1/2 of the drum area and balance it by loading another sheet in the remaining area. The point is to not wrap laundry around the agitator.I would recommend this washer to family and friends.
Edited toadd: The machine auto detects the appropriate water level but does have a knob selection override for bulky items. I find this setting helps reduce twisting.