I loved my Frigidaire Gallery (front loader) and got almost nine years of use out of it. Unfortunately, a simple part broke and since there very few repairmen here in Vegas (overbooked or overpriced) I had to get a new one.
My sister had the Samsung for about a year and since she loves it and it has more capacity and a larger opening than the Frigidaire, I considered the Samsung.
I would have been MORE than satisfied with either machine but when my husband went in to get one, the Samsung (which is usually $1200) was marked down, the guy at Lowe's haggled and we ended up getting it AND a five-year warranty for $855! Can't be beat!
I'm super happy with it and I recommend it (OR the Frigidaire!)
Just so you know, most repairmen are now doing only warranty work and that's why they turn away calls from machine owners past the warranty period. They want to be on call and available ONLY for warranty work because by keeping the warranty company happy, they get to keep their contracts. This applies to ALL machines, front and top loaders.
Since front loaders can't get "out of balance", there is much less wear and tear on them. That's why my friends with front loaders and I never have to call for repairs. I have a friend with a top loader whose repairman told her the same thing you heard. When the knob broke on my Frigidaire, I called him and he confessed he didn't KNOW HOW to fix front loaders...that's why he bad-mouths them!
PS: Avoid the pedestals. My friends who have bought them are so BUMMED! They can't use the tops of the machines to fold clothes, no soap fits properly in the drawers and the kids open them to use them to climb...eek! Save your money!
PPS: Both of these machines have a soak setting and the Samsung has a delay wash setting. Both have locking doors.