Washing machine questions

I hope you can help me with these seemingly simple questions!
1) Why has GE stopped making Filter-Flo machines? The ones that recirculate wash water and pass it through a strainer so the lint and cat hair doesn't stay on your clothes? It was good enough for 40 years. (1957-1996). GE said they don't make them anymore, but didn't give me a real response as to why.
2) Why do the commercial front loaders at laundromats accept regular detergent, but the consumer ones need "HE" stuff so the aluminum casting doesn't corrode? Who's the genius who put aluminum in contact with steel in water?
3) Where can I get the special tools required to remove the inner tub in a GE Filter-Flo top loader? It looks like a 12-side Torx bit but angled. I can't see very well as the thing is covered in lime and I can't find anything on the web. I'm gonna try to rebuild an old machine.
4) Why is the appliance repair group on Yahoo so useless?
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