As a child we never had a dishwasher in the house. My parents had seven children so we were the dishwasher. And even down, I tend to wash dishes unless it's a big get together. But I understand why people like to put the eating surface sticking up and why others prefer to put the handle sticking up.
For those in the first camp: eating surface up. People are comfortable with this option because they believe the water intensity will clean the fork prongs, spoon and knife eating surface better and there will not be any water stains during the drying or rinsing cycle on the eating surface.
For those in the second camp: handles up. People prefer this option because there is little transfer of germs from hand to eating surface of the utensil and when young children are helping in the kitchen.
What I found curious was the latest survey down by Ricki, the Kitchen Think Tank. They pictures above show the outcome of their survey. They did not include a large population but this does show that people the surface area up to the handles up for other than knives. It also shows that some people are frustrated by the whole issue and just load the item whichever way it fits. I found that amusing.
I've checked many of the leading appliance manufacturer's website to help solve this debate. They all agree that knives should be blade down to avoid cuts. They are not in full agreement though when it comes to spoons and forks. They let the placing of those two items up to the consumer.
One last note about knives. If you have an expensive knife set like the American brand Cutco or one of the European brands, do not put them in the dishwasher at all. Dishwashers cam damage knives. That is another reason you should put the blade down.
Enjoy your Holidays. It's definitely the season to use the dishwasher.