When we were living in the residence we had a full sized top loading washer and regular dryer. I Usually did on average 4 loads a week, sometimes 5. When we moved on the boat we were going to the laundramat. Gaaaaack! Hate it! We'd manage to make it every other weekend for 7 to 9 loads.
We made the big splurge and got an Edge Star front loading combo. You put the clothes in and select all the availabe options (extra rinse, water temp (by degrees!), spin speed, cycle, and dryer time. If you're on the mark you go away and when you come back it's clean and dry all in one little machine that fits in about 2 1/2 feet square.
Negative: Smaller loads. Positive: less detergent, etc.,less electrical usage. It has it's own built in water heater and it does a beautiful job. Now I try to do a load a day, lots of dish towels, and DH's work clothes.