I'm confused - the specs on the intel x25-m are 70mb/s seq write, whereas a lot of other drives (new ssdnow v-series for example) are more than double that. yet everything i read says the intel drive is still the performance king. what gives? are the benchmarks just old?
[edit - sorry this is in the wrong location - doesn't appear i can move it either]
For most general-purpose use the transfer rates are not as important as the access times, and of the transfer rates the write rate is the least important. So the downside of the 70MB/sec write rate is overshadowed by the extremely fast access times.
sminlal's answer is a really good one. It's very true that sequential write speed doesn't matter so much in the grand scheme of things these days.
The only time you're likely to notice it is when you are copying very large files from one SATA drive to another on the same system. For normal use it will never be an issue. You'll never hit that limit when ripping DVDs or bluray, downloading with bittorrent etc or even copying from a USB device. Access time (specifically, average write latency) is going to matter much more.