I happened to spend some time on the Samurai Appliance Repair Man's website (Fixitnow.com Samurai Appliance Repair Man: Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help for all Brands and Models!
) and noticed that the latest newsletter has his specific recommendations on which brands of appliances will make your life easier:
Appliantology Newsletter, June 2011: Samurai's Appliance Brand Recommendations
Not repair-free, but easier to repair!
I've saved hundreds of dollars here over the last five years. It bugs the heck out of me to contemplate putting a $350 microwave oven in the Waimanalo Gulch landfill, let alone the cost of the matching replacement. Luckily the site showed me how to troubleshoot the failure to a $10 part.
I just finished fixing our GE Profile Arctica fridge (again) so I'm happy to see that LG and Whirlpool are getting good reviews. Our Fridgezilla is four years old but it's too big & inefficient for our empty-nester lifestyle. I wouldn't mind downsizing from 25 cu ft side-by-side to an over/under in the 20-22 cu ft range.