How awful would it be if the fridge you just spent $1000+ on croaked after a year? Pretty darn awful. "They don't make 'em like they used to", your pop might say, and he's right; most kitchen appliances manufactured today don't last as long as older ones. Even so, some are definitely more reliable than others.
Opinions show us that reliability strongly affects a user's overall satisfaction level and strongly correlates to the product's quality. With several exceptions, users report that fridges with ice and water dispensers are less reliable. As far as styles go, the standard top-freezer design (like the one your parents had that lasted 30 years) is a safer choice than more modern layouts. The bottom line? Keep it simple. Fewer moving parts means fewer problems in the long term.
Whirlpool and Frigidaire are the most reliable refrigerator brands on the market.