Here again it depends on what your needs are as to what is best. The different types of washers out there are all very different from each other. These are the following types available:
High Efficiency Top Loader
High Efficiency Front Loader
Low Efficiency Top Loader with center post agitator
If you have a family of five and constantly have large loads of laundry to do, I would get a front loader as these can hold a lot more items per load. High Efficiency top loaders get a lot of complaints (e.g. Kenmore oasis, but others like the LG Waveforce get high marks)
If you're a bachelor and rarely do laundry, what sense would it be to shell out thousands for a high efficiency machine? A regular one would do fine.
If you're short on space, a stackable or portable might be in order or low cubic foot machine will serve you better
Here in the USA the popular brands are Kenmore, Whirlpool, Bosch, Fisher and Paykel, Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, etc.