When it goes on sale for $599, the 4.5-cu.ft. Kenmore 41262 (MSRP $939.99) front-loading washing machine has one of the better price-to-performance ratios we've encountered.
It does a good job removing stains, and has a few neat tricks—like an easy-drying door that won't smell funny. Unfortunately, it also took over an hour to wash an 8 lb. load of laundry. By comparison, the next washer up in the Kenmore line—the 41392—costs $100 more, but its Accela-Wash feature cuts wash time in half.