We went through this about 5 years ago when our old <whatever> finally died. I did a lot of wandering around with my wife as she tried to decide what to buy. We didn't want a front loader because all of the ones we looked at were either too small or too expensive. Spent hours at Sears, Best Buy, and other shops. Looked at Consumer Reports, etc.
We ended up finding a Fisher & Paykel
at a local appliance store. They sold us on it's combination of extreme efficiency, very few moving parts, and interesting features. There's no belt or transmission to ever wear out and they are designed to be extremely efficient.
My wife is the primary laundry-doer, but she absolutely loves it. Hands down the best washing machine she's ever used, so she says. Seems to be gentler on clothes as well, as things seem to last longer now. Actually made a difference in our monthly water & electricity bills. It uses a minimal amount of water necessary and dries the clothes so well with it's super fast spin cycle (like 1000RPM or something absurd like that - sounds like a jet taking off) that we barely have to use the dryer. We did not, however, buy their matching dryer as it seemed really overpriced for, well, just a dryer.
From a 'manly-man' perspective, it's got a lot of buttons and LED displays. It is also mildly entertaining to watch it run through a cycle as it figures out how much water to use, properly washes things, re-balances the load, etc, etc. For a washing machine, anyway.
So if you've got a local store that sells them, take a look. It was a little bit more expensive than a 'regular' top-loader, but significantly less than most of the front loaders we looked at.
Edit: I didn't read your last sentence about needing a front loader. Nevermind! Oops.