Since the government is now trying to get us to get rid of our old machines and get into new ones, we are seriously considering "upgrading" ours. With us, the wife does laundry almost every day and our current machine is one of those "top loaders". I really don't know much about the front loaders except for their claim to be super efficient. I'm sure someone out there has changed recently from a top loader to a front loader. Are they really all that efficient, to where you noticed a smaller hot water, water, electricity bill? What makes them more "efficient" or is it a marketing ploy? I noticed you have to have a special detergent . . .is the detergent more efficient (need less)or eco friendly? Just looking for some answers before I sink some money into one-b/c they ain't cheap!