Amen to what keshlam said. Whole life is sold to make a commission; term insurance is bought to protect your family.
Whole life, or term & paying more for option to convert, is a relatively expensive investment. Big commissions, up to 40%. Only worthwhile in unusual tax situations. If you're in one of those, the team of tax consultants and actuaries in the law firm you've retained to manage your assets will advise you. And I wish your chauffeur, butler, housekeepers, security team and estate manager well.
The biggest disadvantage of whole life is this: for someone who has young dependents, you need a LOT of life insurance, ~ $250k per dependent, so for two young kids and a nonworking spouse, minimum $750k. Folks in that situation usually don't have enough cash flow/income to buy enough whole life to protect their family. So whole life diverts attention from the real question about life insurance: if you die, who starves? If the answer is "Nobody," you don't need it at all.
Term is pure insurance: you're hedging against the possibility you'll die and your kids will go without; the company bets you won't, and sets the odds a little or a lot in their favor. SBLI or insurance thru your alumni association, or thru NW mutual is often the best deal. Look into disability, too. You're 3x more likely to have a period of disability than die.
So tell the salesman "thanks, but no, thanks" and buy SBLI/alumni association life insurance if you need any.
Much better investment is 401k or IRA- if you put away $1000/yr for 10 years starting in your 20's, that's probably all you need. Magic of compound interest.
See "the only investment guide you'll ever need" for an entertaining discussion of finances.