Thanks for taking the extra steps to vet the planner community, I think it's a good thing to do. I have always said, you can put 100 of us (advisors) in one room, and you won't get us to agree on anything. Life insurance is definitely one of those areas.
To your specific question, what I think would be worthwhile is to learn about the various options available to you, and consult with a fee-only planner where you pay for their services by the hour. This advisor can educate you, without a "sales pitch" and can help you to determine the right amount of insurance, the right kind of insurance, etc. You'll pay a fee for their service, similar to an attorney or accountant. They can possibly help you to place it as well, but will disclose that to you separately.
You can look for fee-only planners in many spots. CFP Board of Standards at www.cfp.net; NAPFA, or the Garrett Planning Network (I am a CFP Practitioner but not in NAPFA or Garrett, by way of disclosure).
When you are seeking to place life insurance on your family, generally you will work through an agent or broker. You can also quote and apply online, although you'll still be working with an agent, just not one you can see. I'd recommend staying local to the extent possible...the rates are generally exactly the same, but you'll have a local . Here's where my bias will come through...I am an independent agent for life and therefore have access to many, many different companies. There are also "captive" agents that will represent just one, possibly two companies at most. Both will do much the same but the independent agent will have much more choice. this may help you.
Second bias alert: For what you are describing in your question, I think low cost level premium term insurance is a great place to start for pure protection. There are some agents that will disagree and recommend "permanent" insurance (whole or universal life). This is OK in many circumstances but I think is mis-sold in a number of cases.
Best wishes to you as you work to secure your family against this risk.