martyyn: I wouldnt go near F&P if you paid me.
We bought a fridge, dishwasher and washing machine new for our house. The washing machine required major repairs after two years and died completely after four. The dishwasher blew up six months later with blue sparks and flames like Guy Fawkes and although the fridge is still going all the plastic buckets and shelves are all shattered and broken.
F&P said they would replace the 'top of the line' washing machine with a 'bottom of the line' one if we contributed $200 ourselves.
We replaced with Bosch and couldnt be happier.
Reliability stats, such as those published by Consumer, are so useful because they are a better measure of performance and support than our individual experiences.
I would buy almost any brand based calculating the trade-off between price and performance. It depends what my needs are. F&P, for example, often make smaller or narrower versions to fit older/smaller homes in New Zealand. Twenty years ago we bought a F&P dishwasher because, at the time when we created space for a dishwasher, there were only two products in New Zealand that would fit in the space we had with the capacity to wash a standard load.