At the end of 2009, we replaced the incredibly old and noisy dishwasher that was in our house when we moved in with a new technically advanced model from Lowes, a Samsung DMR78. At the time, it had gotten good reviews. It was expensive (around $930), but we hoped for the best.
I would not buy a Samsung dishwasher again.
Since that purchase, I recall that we had at least one warranty repair, as well as a flow sensor failure and water valve failure in August 2011 (that cost almost $300 to repair!). The water values and processor board failed again last month, prompting another almost $200 repair. Last night, after we got home from the theatre, we discovered the unit hadn’t fully drained. So I tried to do a cancel/drain to drain the bottom. There was absolutely no response from the front panel. None. I checked the circuit breaker, and nothing had tripped.
We’ve put a call into the service-critters, but I can seem them still attempting to charge a service charge, blaming something else, and finding new broken parts. At this point, I don’t think it is worth getting it fixed. Based on the product reviews, this product has turned out to be a design lemon.
We’ve looked at Consumers Reports, and the “Best Buys” are a tossup between the Bosch Ascentia (which is on sale at Lowes this weekend for $539.10) and the Whirlpool Gold. A Whirlpool Gold got good reviews in CR, but it was a GU23/24 model, and all I can see at Lowes are a WDT710PAYM model (on sale for $494.10) and a WDF750PAYM model (on sale for $629.10). We still need to look into the differences between the models. One additional impetus is that Lowes is doing their regular financing sale, meaning we can do 0% for 18 months, as we would be spending more than $299). Usually Lowes does free delivery and installation.
My gut is leaning towards the Whirlpool, simply because of the impression of reliability (both Bosch and Whirlpool are reportedly reliable per CR; Samsung isn’t even on their list). On the Lowes website, the Whirlpool gets slightly higher ratings (4½ ★) than the Bosch (4 ★). But the trick is finding the right model.
[I'll note that Sears is also an option: They are also doing 0% for purchases over $499. They have the WDF Whirlpool for $569.99, but charge for delivery, and a Bosch (unclear if it is the Ascentia) for $629.99, again with a delivery charge.]
[Additional data point: Best Buy has the Bosch Ascentia for $594.99, supposedly with free delivery and 0% financing. With respect to Whirlpool Gold, Best Buy only has the various WDT and WDF models.]
[I'll also note there is the question of what to do with the old Dishwasher. The service critters are scheduled to come out Wednesday, supposedly for no charge... but I'm expecting they'll find something else is wrong and need to order parts ($$). My wife thinks we should fix the Samsung if we can do it for free on their nickel and then sell it; my thought is just to write off the Samsung. I guess it depends on when Lowes can schedule installation vs. whether the service critters need to order parts.]
[ETA: We ended up going with the Bosch Ascentia, based primarily on the recommendation of Ray M., Consumers, and the fact that the Whirlpool models at Lowes were significantly lower rates (below the Samsung, even). We get free delivery, get to take advantage of the sale and 18 month 0% financing, and get a Visa rebate card for the basic installation. We did have to buy new hoses, pay for the city permit, and we bought the 4 year extended warranty (just given our experiences -- we normally don't -- but a single repair will likely offset the $108 price). It should be delivered late next week; if they fix the old one for free before that, we'll sell it on Craigslist.]