CR is a great place to look for recommendations. And stick with a big brand - Kenmore (at Sears), Whirlpool, Maytag, etc.
If you can afford it, as they're generally a bit more money, spring for a front-loader. They use significantly less water than top-loaders and agitate the clothes more gently so they don't wear as fast. But beware of one thing when shopping for them - When we bought ours a few years ago some models had really small openings, with large rubber gaskets that looooved to pull out arm hair when you reached in. We avoided those and made sure we got one with a nice big opening. Maybe they've improved and all have bigger openings now, though, as this was a while ago.