Just a tidbit of info based on my experience. I have owned between 2 and 8 computers at a time since the mid 80's (DOS 3 days when some computers didn't even have harddrives). During this time, I have used at least 50 harddrives (probably actually closer to 100) of various makes. I have experienced two harddrive failures - both were Western Digital Caviar drives. One was a new harddrive still under warranty and replaced by the computer manufacturer under warranty, the other was an older harddrive of unknown history that was installed as a backup drive in an existing computer. I realize that two failures in 25 years does not constitute a trend, but when I buy a new harddrive, it is not Western Digital.
two HDD failures in 25yrs is pretty good going and as with anything electronic there is always the chance of it being DOA they don't check every single piece they build so your thinking is really wrong WD make great drives I've had many without failure i aslo have an old seagate 545MB HDD which still runs fine, but an 20GB seagate drive i owned went poo so bad the PSU would go into OCP ( Over Current Protection ) mode when trying turn it on because of it, does that mean i shouldn't buy seagates HDD's anymore... Well no as i see it it's just the sh!t happens law of our reality
Indeed if it was down to premature failour I'd be concerned about Hitachi or Samsung HDs, which I've come across many times for click of death, although I've not heard much bad about the newer batch of spinpoint hitatchi models.
I've always liked and used Seagate although I did have a pair of Spinpoints once which were fast.. As for which drive? Well any of the modern drives by the top companies are pretty good and any differences are down to milliseconds anyway. If you want cheap performance though you cannot beat a RAID 0 set-up. Remember though it's always wise to buy an extra drive for backups with RAID 0 because if one drive goes down then so does the other one and data is lost...
While faster RPM drives are good they can easily be compensated for with cache. I recommend a decent 7200 rpm drive with a 32 meg cache. I run my OS on a seagate 160 7200 rpm 16meg drive and I can do most things as fast as my co-worker who has 10k rpm raptor drives. I often load into games faster than he does.
I am a Seagate fan, cost is a little higher, great support. I believe they have 5 year warranty's. I have 4 internal Seagate drives 2 of them are 1.5 TB the other 2 are 750 gig. I have 3 external Hard drives by Seagate of 1 TB 500 Gig and 160 Gig and a Maxtor 300 gig which is made by Seagate
Thats like comparing a ford with a radio flyer wagon. RAID performance is ALWAYS faster on similar drives. The raid controller itself buffers transfer data speeding up performance along with the way it stores and recalls the data.
Put a single 250 in a non raid against the single 500GB that is a better comparison.
I was using the raid because it's only 2 x 8MB (16MB total) caches where as the SS is an 16MB cache drive just to show that maybe he can use 2 older smaller HDD's in raid0 to compensate for 1 larger newer more cache HDD