I've read numerous posts by you and you are very knowledgeable. Other than FP, which you have, which TL would you recommend? Thanks for any input!!
If I was buying a new machine for myself, first choice would be a frontloader with onboard water heating, likely a Whirlpool or Maytag unit. :-)
That being said, and I'm hesitant to be referencing machines I have not used ... an HE toploader would be a unit also with water heating, such as Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8800YW or Maytag Bravos MVWB950. Without water heating, probably an F&P AquaSmart. Non-HE would be an F&P EcoSmart, or a Whirlpool agitator unit such as WTW4850XQ (automatic water level sensing) or WTW4800XQ (manual water level selection), or maybe a Speed Queen.
Consider that pretty much all deep-fill toploaders on the market now are running with reduced water levels ... meaning the highest fill level is lower than in the past, although capacity is considered to be unchanged. That presumably subjects a "full" load to more aggressive agitation, but perhaps wash time is reduced to compensate. More of an issue for some people is that the rinse water level is also reduced lower than the wash level in some cases. That's one reason why I may recommend F&P's EcoSmart as an agitator toploader choice. It still does a full deep fill to best of my knowledge (auto-sense water level or 5 manual selections), has a choice of water saving shower rinse or agitated deep rinse (or two deep rinses), is EnergyStar by way of the EcoActive wash process or can do a deep-fill hot wash via a simple programming function.
An option to consider is finding a used toploader in good condition, such as a Whirlpool, Kenmore, or KitchenAid of the direct-drive design 5 to 10+ years old ... or a unit that's in less than pristine condition and refurbishing it. I've done a Kenmore 90 (10 years old at the time I got it, now 12 years), and a Whirlpool TOL Catalyst 9 years old. Up to a couple/few hundred $ in parts can be involved depending on the condition and how far one wants to go with the refurb, but the result is an "old-style" toploader that should run for some years.
Thanks Dadoes! We are looking at the Maytag Bravos TL. I can't have pedestals because my machines are under a window and without them the FL seem so low to be bending down. I really appreciate your response!