Western Digital are pretty much known as the most reliable and durable brand.
Samsung (normally spinpoint) are some of the cheaper drives, so many use them and because they have no problems say they are the best, but after around 6+ years in an IT profession I would say WD wins hands down for reliability and performance.
This was many years ago - a friend who was working at Fujitsu said there is really no big difference between brands. They had data for thousands of drives and the failures were just random. Occasionally there are some models that have much more problems than is the norm, for example back in the day there was one from IBM that would break much more often than one would expect. I still wouldn't say that IBM makes bad drives...
In the last decade or so I recall only 2 drives going bad on me. One is on a laptop that apprently has been through a good deal of rough handling. The second one was in a desktop and I bought the same model as a replacement, as it's a good hard drive!
In my old system I had a failing PSU. I thought it was a motherboard issue and took a little while getting around to fixing it. At the time, I had 4 hard drives in use.. two WD drives, a seagate and a fujitsu. One of the WD was IDE, all others were SATA.
Now in the space of around 5 months I went through 8 hard drives with constant failures and corrupt sectors. One of them drives was the WD SATA, the other 7 were seagate and fujitsu.
Now I'm not saying because of this one time that WD are miles above the rest.. but from PERSONAL expirence, my (6+ year old) WD IDE drive is still working, and I've only had to replace one or two WD SATA drives, where as I went through so many other makes I stopped buying them all together.
Western Digital it seems are at least able to take random power spikes without fault or damaging.