I would go with a frontloader. You have to work on your routine a bit, but the FL will be more gentle on your diapers. Plus, diaper laundry is a small part of your family laundering needs. My need to wash large loads of towels and jeans outweighs any inconvenience of routine tweaking.
the Fisher & Paykel. It rocks! Very energy efficient, uses less water, big drum for large loads. I haven't noticed undue wear on my clothing etc. and we've been using it for 4 years. I'm nak so can't write out everything I'd like to say, but do a search in this forum for "F&P" and Fisher Paykel and you'll find lots of threads about it!
I love front loaders for doing laundry in general for environmental reasons.
I used to have a plain jane, nothin' fancy top-loader and loved it for washing diapers. Then we got a front loader and at first I hated it, but now I tolerate it fine and I have to admit it doesn't cause me pain anymore. You will probably have to tweek your laundry routine a bit if you switch. You might need to rinse more. I have heard of people adding water during the wash with a hose rigged up to squirt into the detergent compartment, but I didn't want to mess with this.
I have the kenmore version of the maytag neptune. It doesn't have a separate rinse cycle, so I have to run an extra short wash cycle or gentle cycle (I have heard the gentle cycle uses more water--don't know if this is true or not) to rinse. Also, mine doesn't have a feature that allows you to fill it up with water and let it sit to soak the dipes if you are so inclined.
I would say one down side of front loaders in general is that washing takes longer than it does in a top-loader because you are either running extra rinses, or some people have a heavy-duty sanitizing cycle they run, but they take forever too. I have not actually timed how long it takes my diapers to wash, so this is a subjective judgement. Also, maybe there is some front loader out there that washes diapers as fast as a top-loader and I just don't know about it.
it. I've never done my cloth in anything different, so I don't know how a top-loader compares, but the Duet uses sooooo much less water!
For non-cloth diaper clothes, it can't be beat!!!
For washing my dipes, just as an example, I do one cold rinse and spin, then two washes set at "whitest whites". That's a total of 2 hours 20 minutes washer time.
One nice thing about front-loaders - you don't have to worry about clothes getting unbalanced! That always happened to me with a top-loader - the dang thing was always getting unbalanced and I'd have to go rearrange the clothes.
Now that I have a front-loader I
If you go with a top-loader, make sure you get whatever pedestal they offer (or plan on building one). They're too low to the ground without them - so much more convenient with a pedestal (we built ours, didn't want to pay the $$).