It's not like I'd never had a front loading washing machine, my Frigidaire front loader and I went way back (about 9 years in an abusive relationship). When it finally died I wasn't even sure I wanted another front loader. With a family of six, including three little ones and dog that has no ability to hold his water and is constantly vomiting because of his allergies, I need a really good washing machine that can tackle load after load of laundry that may include rocks in pockets and terribly stainful stuff, not to mention taking it easy on my unmentionables. This GE front loader shocked me with the first load. I had a whole load of wet laundry that was a hot minute away from going bad that i needed to run again because the pet hair was clotted throughout and the stains were still there. I set this GE front loader on the extra long soak and tossed in some extra HE detergent and some baking soda and it was amazing how much of a difference the new GE front loader made. Energy Efficiency The energy efficiency of this machine has improved since I got this machine--over my last front loader. Cleaning Time This thing has a need for speed. I love it. I can also make it go real nice and slow--and often do use the long soak feature. Performance I've got no complaints here. The performance of my front loader has been exceptional. Ease of Use Okay. I gave it an 8. That's still pretty high, but for me it's mediocre. This machine was probably designed by someone with a fancy engineering degree in washing machine design, but despite its likely ergodynamicability, I find that it's a little quirky in use. Or else I'm a little quirky. Either way, one of us is slightly off. Design As these things go, the washing machine is nice looking and all. If the design has a flaw, it is that ease of use issue (above). Durability So if an 8 is mediocre, a six is pitiful. About a month after we got the front loader a piece of the rubber inside just came off in piece about the size of a quarter. It doesn't seem to have affected how it works. It just bothers me that a somewhat expensive appliance just didn't last longer than a month. It totally beats my dishwasher, but don't get me started about that.