I've used both top load and front load washing machines, and I still have to give the edge to top loaders. They may require more water and energy to operate, but I think the clothes come out cleaner. Front loaders run all of the clothes through the same water at the bottom, and I think that's not as sanitary as having them float around a large tank of water.
The agitator inside a top loading washing machine does concern me sometimes, but I have rarely found any clothes that were obviously damaged by it. Sometimes delicate items like underwear might get caught on the agitator and torn, but not pants or towels. I think an agitator forces out more dirt than the walls of a front loader.