The reasons I originally chose the stupid Whirlpool:
1. Our local plumbing supply house was closed. They carried AO Smith at the time.
2. I remember thinking: "Well, if its got the Whirlpool name on it, it has to be a decent unit."
3. I was forced to borrow a truck to get the unit home, and Lowes was the closest.
I wish now that I would have waited 2 more days until the plumbers supply had opened.