Northwestern Mutual is the best in the business. If you do your research, you won't find a better company. I've worked for State Farm and New York Life in the past so I know the business. Northwestern Mutual is hands down the best out there.
Term is probably the best option. Whole Life is really only great if you have an inheritance or a lawsuit settlement that involves a truckload of money. You could dump all that money into a single premium whole life policy and never have to pay it again. That policy will give you upwards of 6, 7, possibly 8% return after the first two or three years. After about 10-25 years, that policy would have made you a very, very wealthy man. Oh yea, a very, very wealthy man who does NOT PAY TAXES. Cash value from whole life policies are TAX FREE. The guvmint can't touch it by law.
Unless you have a ton of money to dump into a whole life, go with term.
If you anticipate your health to decrease dramatically in the future, go with whole life because you lock your rates in permanently. With term you have to buy it again once your term is over and you are re-rated at your age and health at that time.
In summary, term is better unless you have lots of money to dump into a single premium whole life. Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise.
This is coming from a former whole life salesman