This is a very nice dishwasher. It is quality built and looks amazing in my newly remodeled kitchen. There are so many dishwashers in the market to choose from, let alone KitchenAid brands and styles, so picking the best one for my needs was somewhat of a challenge. This particular model, in addition to price, hands down won me over. It has a sleek front with hidden controls and looks just like the more expensive KitchenAid models at a fraction of the price without compromising on features. I am very pleased and enjoy using this machine. Noise Level All dishwashers are going to have some noise from the motor, but when this machine runs, it is smooth and very well controlled. You barely hear it running, and the little noise it does make, I don't really mind at all. Actually, I am quite pleased to hear its soothing hum - it reminds me that I am running it! I like to entertain and my kitchen is a gathering point for friends and family. You can easly carry on a conversation while its on and running without any distractions. It is almost noiseless and tends to blend into most background noises anyway, but it earns bonus points for not churning out rumbeling noises that interupt normal conversation. I think the only way I would rate a machine "very good" is if it was completely silent. I am very pleased with its minimal sound. Cleaning Time I guess this determines the cleaning cycle you plan to use and whether or not you plan to use the drying cycle. I typically only use the normal wash and dry setting even though there are several options to choose from. I am satisfied with the time it takes. I think if it were any quicker, I would worry if it was actually cleaning my dishes. I do tend to pre-rinse my dishes in the sink before I load the dishwasher just to make sure there isnt any stuck on nasty residue, but this is an unneccesary step. Regardless, my dishes come out clean and spot free every time. Loading Flexibility This machine is very spacious inside and provides for a lot of loading combinations. I am not sure there is really a right or wrong way to load this dishwasher. Obviously silverware go in the section for silverware but the rest is pretty flexible. I like that there is a section for wine glasses or stemware and the racks can be adjusted if need be. I had a crappy dishwasher before my upgrade to a KitchenAid, but I am very pleased at how much more I seem to fit in this machine. I really like that the racks aren't limited to a specific item and you can be creative with how you load it. Performance I have been using this dishwasher for several months now and have no complaints. I love it! My dishes alway come out clean and fresh and spot free. Design It looks similar to other higher priced KitchenAid models. Unless you are the person who bought the machine, no one is going to know you spent less on this model than the more expensive one which looks exactly the same. The real difference is in features, and quite frankly, if the price is right, I can live without a few features!