Pay close attention to any rebates from the manufacturer, the seller, the water and electric companies. We bought a $1000 Bosch unit on sale for $899. That was out of stock when they came to deliver it so they bumped us to the $1100 unit. By the way, an interesting strategy when a closeout happens on an appliance is to buy it from a reputable outfit like sears, lowes or home depot and then schedule the delivery for 10-15 days out. By that time, their crappy inventory control system would have allowed them to sell 5% more units than they actually have in stock and most of the time they'll bump you a notch to keep you from canceling.
We got $100 rebate from lowes, $100 rebate from Bosch, something like $100 or $150 from the water company and $75 or $100 from the electric company. So our $1000 washer cost us 400 and change. Many of the utility rebates have multiple tiers like tier 1 and tier 2 that give you better rebates for the higher efficiency units. Trick is to know what the tiers are, which models are in what, and then wait for a sale on the higher tier models that with rebate makes them cheaper than the lower tier models.
There are only a few companies actually making the front loaders, which are then rebranded and sold by many companies with minor changes in appearance and controls. There have been a few models like some early maytag neptunes and some kenmores that had major problems for a year or two and that infected the entire class of machines.
I'd pick based on size of the unit and price with rebates figured in. Size is sort of a red herring too. A puny front loader can handle a queen/king comforter with little trouble since theres no agitator taking up space. Although our 4.0 cubic foot models can take an entire weeks worth of laundry in one gulp.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.