I have used WD for about 5 years, then switched over to Seagate about 3 years ago. I went through 3 WD HD's in as many years, so I eventually got feed up with it, switched over to seagate, and now I have 5 seagate HD's in my comp. I personally think Seagate is the best, especially with the 5 year warranty on the drives. I never had a seagate die on me, but that could just be luck. There 7200.10 Hd's are pretty fast too.
Sata is becoming the new standard, so if you have a sata port on your motherboard, get a sata drive.
IMHO, the brand doesn't matter that much. In over 20 years I've seen every brand of drive fail for many reasons. The only thing that makes a difference is the warranty. If the warranty is only 1 year, there's something lower quality in the drive, because even the manufacturer won't trust it for longer than a year.
You have to remember why drives can die/crash:
1) Manufacturing defect. Drives are made in lots/groups. A single lot/group can be stellar performers, and the next and be a stinking pile of manure. You'll never know.
2) Shipping. Drives are of course shipped/transported. If they are not properly packed or are subjected to large amounts of physical trauma, they will fail prematurely.
3) Hardware failure. Power supplies can fail and power spikes can roast hardware. This is a fact of life ... but it still sucks, and it's not the drives fault.
So it comes down to :
a) Reputable company (a "Harry's house of parts" drive, is probably not as good as as WD, IBM, Hitachi, Maxtor, Seagate)
b) Good warranty. When a drive fails it is nice to get it replaced without having to purchase a new one. You've already lost your data, why should you have to get kicked again to replace it.
c) Reasonable price. Too high a price for anything just sucks.
Seagate, Western Digital, and Hitachi are all top-tier hard drives. It is hard to go wrong with any of those three. All three are guaranteed to work for differing amounts of time, but all are very close in quality. I prefer seagate and western digital, BUT Hitachi has the hands down best hard drive on the market right now with their 1 TB drive.
Read some reviews and see which meets your needs the best.