I have several clotheslines, indoor and outdoor. However, in the winter, I use my dryer a lot- I live in the U.P., people! If you're north of 45, you get reprieve for those
: six months out of the year!
aniT, you aren't alone. For me, spring has not arrived with robins and crocuses, but when I hang that first load of laundry outside... ahh.
Anyway, back on topic... I agree that the lower the heat, the longer the clothes last. I have a few things (delicate undies, all bras, some of my more expensive clothes, anything handmade, etc.) that never see the inside of a dryer.
I have never owned a gas dryer. I worked at a laundry for a while that had all gas dryers, and they were kind of crappy- new or old didn't seem to impact the crappiness. We had an old, old, old electric dryer that finally took a crap last year. In that dryer, we, too, had a towel that was just in there all the time. When we got our new dryer- which is a lower end model, about $300- we could not believe the difference it made. It dried so fast, (like a full load in 20 minutes), created less lint, and our electric bills went down. Having the towel in there only seemed to make a difference with prefold diapers. The big, obvious difference was that this dryer got HOT- the old dryer that took forever and ate up electricity only ever got warm. Oh, and, FWIW, our washing machine is still old, old, old and doesn't do the greatest job getting the water out of the clothes.
So for me, the environmental compromise is to line dry outdoors whenever possible, line dry delicates inside, and use a hot dryer because it uses less energy.