(Mancelona, MI USA)
I have a General Electric Nautilus dishwasher. It came with our house, and we didn't have a lot of choice about the model. It isn't fancy, but there are a few options.
We can choose regular or short wash, rinse only, or plate warmer cycles. It also has a hot start option that we don't use. We can also choose a pots & pans cycle or just a normal cycle. And we can choose a heated dry or not.
In our house, we don't run the dishwasher every day. We never use it for pots and pans - the bulk of what we wash is plates, glasses and silverware. It takes several days for us to fill it up enough to justify a wash. So we have to rinse things pretty thoroughly before we load them in the washer. I use a small amount of good detergent (usually Cascade) and Jet Dry.
So how well does it work? We've never been thrilled with it. When everything is well rinsed we don't have much trouble. But any stuck-on food will still be stuck-on after the cycle. And on those occasions when we know we'll fill it and run it right away, if we skip the thorough rinse, bits of food will be sprinkled and baked onto everything. Sometimes we end up washing about half the load again by hand. If we don’t use the heated dry, it doesn’t seem to matter how long they sit in the dishwasher – they’ll be wet when we empty it.
It's also a fairly noisy appliance, which makes it hard to find a good time to run it. I wish it had a time-delay feature so I could run it while we were gone or sleeping so we didn't have to listen to it.
For our purposes, when we consider the time/hot water/soap used to rinse the dishes well enough for this dishwasher, I think we’d be better off without it.
The only thing it does that we can’t by hand is to get them hot enough to “sterilize” them (– or at least that’s how I justify continuing to use it).