My primary job is a computer business I own. I have sold over 100 Seagate HD's to customers.
Spent over $150 and you will get a great drive.
Less than $150 is still better than WD or Maxtors, but over around $150 will get you the best drives out there
I've lost my faith in Seagate drives I've had several wipe out on me as boot drives but they seem to last well as secondary units.
Currently I have Fujitsu drives for booting and they're all going well but I do hear that Maxtor is the best kwite often.
I think it really depends on the MODEL, not just the manufacturer.
This is a question like asking "Which POS software is best?" Everyone will express a suggestion based on what they've invested in.
All the brands these days are pretty much on par with each other, so you can't go wrong no matter what you decide. By combining store coupons and rebates you can usually get the biggest drives for less than $100. Monitorwww.techbargains.net and www.slickdeals.net for a few days and you'll be sure to find some bargains on HDs.
Unfortunately, almost all HD manufacturers seem to go through bad spells. In the last year I've had 3 Western Digital drives buy the farm. So, I'm just not buying them right now. In the past they've been fine. I assume all my drives will fail at the most worst time. I back up all my user files and databases regularly onto DVD using "BAckup My PC" or something like it from Veritas.
When I buy a disk drive, I figure out what disk controller I have and match the performance of the drive to the controller. This way I get the fastest disk system I can get. Many inexpensive disks are 5400 RPM drives with slow interfaces. If your PC has a faster disk controller, this is really a waste. Spend a few dollars more and get the fastest drive your PC can handle. Its worth it not to have to wait. Usually a 7200 RPM drive will be faster.
Really hard to say who makes the best drive on any given day. It may help the drive to last longer if you keep an open space around the drive to allow cooling. They get pretty hot.