How can you stand Lowe's? Around here they're much worse than Home
Depot and are even deceitful.
Almost all water heaters are made by Rheem, State Industries, or
American Water Heater, and I think that the latter produces
Whirlpool's. www.waterheaterrescue.com should be able to tell you
what's good or bad.
Earlier this year I needed a new water heater and found that Sears was
the cheapest, about $360 for a 66g electric (State) with 9-year
warranty and two anode rods. A 6-year heater is a budget model with
the least amount of insulation and anode material, but you can add
insulation cheaply (be careful not to block any gas vents), and by
changing the anode every 5-6 years the heater should last just as long
as the most expensive models.