I just realized I've posted quite a bit this past week, but I received a few emails in addition to the comments on our laundry dilemma so I thought I'd share what the verdict was. We spent literally an entire day shopping, researching, hitting 4 different stores here in town, and comparing. We were surprised at how almost every single model had tons of complaints about them online at places like epinions.com and consumer reports. For machines that are in the thousand dollar range you'd think more people would be happy with them and they would be more problem-free. But I think there is something to the comments our parents make when they say "they don't make them like they used to".
We came away from it all a little mind boggled at what a tough decision it seemed to be to buy a mere appliance. Dominick and I both looked at each other at the end of the day and were at the same place in our thinking. If it doesn't come easily or doesn't feel right, it must not be right. I know it may seem silly and even stupid to some readers of our blog that we would ask God for guidance in buying a washer and dryer, but we have found over the years that if we make those purchases and the little Voice inside of us is not agreeing with our decision, then we will live to regret it. And for us, the purchase of a washer and dryer is NOT a little purchase and we will live with the debt for the next year or two, so that is always taken into consideration and it had better be worth it as we don't want to be making payments months from now filled with regret as we write the check.
So...we decided not to do it at this time. We had an older, used dryer that had been given to us last year that was in Dominick's shop for washing his detailing towels. It is the smallest standard size dryer and quite a bit smaller than our old broken one, but it works. It had ink stains on it in two places that were pretty bad, but it works. So, we cleaned it up and brought it home and at least the stinky camp clothes from two weeks ago are now clean smelling again. And we didn't spend a fortune.
I think our long term plan is to forgo having a matching set and eventually get a front loading washer as we really do need to cut down on our water usage for the septic system to last, but then to get a standard (read "not $1000") dryer with the biggest load capacity. Having our used one here...as long as IT lasts...will provide us with time to make a better decision and maybe save some money towards the purchase. While I LOVE the beautiful greens, blues and reds of the new front loading sets...white will work just as well :-) Wish I still had my mom's old avocado green set that lasted 25 years and even then was discarded only because she couldn't stand the color anymore! Bet THAT set would STILL be going!