In general, front-loading washing machines tend to be more water and energy efficient than their top-loading counterparts. Front loaders may cost less to run, but they also can cost more money up front.
The LG WM2250CW (MSRP $799.99) is one of the least-expensive front loaders on the market, so the savings start right away. Not only is it cost effective, but it does a good job cleaning clothes. Though it's short on features, we're fans of the simple user interface.