One of the longest standing arguments in the insurance business is buy term and invest the difference or buy cash value life insurance.
The argument of buying term and investing the difference is based on the premise of getting cheap term and taking the extra money (you would have spent on whole life) and investing it in the market. The thought is that you can make a higher return with the money in the market than you can inside a life insurance contract.
While the true accumulation value of an investment account can be higher than the accumulation value of the cash value, other factors must be considered. For example, what if your investment account performs poorly and you actually lose money. A life insurance policy has certain guarantees built into it that guarantees that you will not lose money no matter what.
Also, a big consideration needs to be from a tax standpoint. What is a modified endowment contract? Where will you invest? What is your tax bracket? What will the tax bracket be when you want to access the money? Would it help you to have money that you can access tax-free from the life insurance? Is the death benefit being passed tax-free going to be a benefit to your estate and family.
Term is a great way to cover your liability at a very reasonable price. The problem with term is that it only lasts for a period and most people outlive the term and their family never sees a benefit. Often times a combined approach can be a good one. In other words, having a majority of the coverage as term and part being whole life or universal life.