I won't tell you which to buy, but I know from the Tom's HD benchmarks that the Seagate drive is very fast for a 7200RPM drive. Also, I don't think that a 16MB cache makes all that much difference in overall performance, though I may be wrong about this. SATA II doesn't really offer any performance benafits either although it has some nifty features like hot plugging if you need them.
Seagate drives have a 5 year warranty which is reassuring since they must expect their drives to last that long. I personally own 2 Seagate PATA drives and have been happy with them. I actually have the 250GB 7200.8 PATA. Anyhow, I've also built several computers with Western Digital HDs and haven't had any problems. Maxtor, although I've heard that they've been getting better, and were very recently acquired by Seagate, is not a company I trust. Two of my friends had Maxtor drives in computers built by the local computer shop and both drives failed within 6 months. They were able to RMA the drives, but restoring all of their data was annoying. Because of this I avoid Maxtor drives though your mileage may vary.
I would go western digital myself i have 2 raptors and a few wd 120gig 7200 rpm hds also 3 maxtors 160 gigs.Ive had no problems with any drive they have all worked well.I had 1 maxtor 120 gig that was noisey as hell but other than that they have all performed well. ive never tried any other drive if i had to make a choice it would be wd its an easy choice for me.
MrCommunistGen is right. seagates are great.
i too have 2x 80GB 7200.7 PATA , 1x 80GB SATA & 1x 200GB SATA 7200.8 in pc. and im verry happy with their performance. but quite expensive here in the philippines
western digitals are also good drives. cheaper. but i have'nt did a raptor. gotta have a try of those.
maxtor... never mind. i had a lot or bad experiences. very prone to crash due to power fluctuations.noisy. hard to maintain and use. even when using ezdrive.such a waste for an ATA133!