I recommend the Samsung 470 series SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd's. Samsung introduced them 13 months ago and they have been trouble free. Samsung developed their own controller, nand, and firmware. They got things right.
They also supply OEM versions to Sony, Dell, Lenovo, and several other smaller companies. According to recent news reports it appears Samsung has a 29% share of the market.
I looked at Samsung SSDs and after seeing the massive problems users were having and zero customer support I decided to pass. It's unfortunate but all of the SSD suppliers seem to have some reliability or compatibility issues with a number of their SSD models.
"There's no debating whether SSDs offer blistering performance. That that doesn't really matter if you can't trust the device holding that important information. When you read about Corsair's Force 3 recall, OCZ's firmware updates to prevent BSODs, Crucial's link power management issues, and Intel's SSD 320 that loses capacity after a power failure, all within a two-month period, you have to acknowledge that we're dealing with a technology that's simply a lot newer (and consequently less mature) than mechanical storage."
I have been using an Intel X25-M SSD 80Gb for the past 2 years now, have upgraded the firmware twice since I bought it. Actually haven't had a single issue with it so far, touchwood, I know they're not top of the line SSD's with the kind of speeds that one might want , but they are a lot faster than HDDs. So I think I could vouch for one.
The new SSDs seem a lot less reliable and I wonder why, because the first gen SSDs were nearly all good from OCZ, Intel & Corsair. What is surprising is that as they have gone on and tried to make a good product even better, it all gone bad.
I would say from personal experience, though I prefer AMD to Intel(Processors), I can vote for an older generation Intel SSD. Since you require a SATA II Disc, I'd say, going for an Intel X25-M 160GB older model will be worth it. It's a tad faster than the 80GB counterpart, small form factor (2.5) and should be a lot cheaper now then it was 2 years ago.
Newegg says only 120GB models available at 240$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My 80GB model cost me a little more than that 2 years ago.
Johnny is right on (Typical of Johnnys responces') about the samsung 470. It has the lowest 1/2 egg reviews @ newegg (4% out of 89 respondants) There is a newer version out and I would expect that to even be better.
As to performance - "Want the Best"
The real life diff between the The Samsung 470 and the Fastest (OCZ SF-22xx sata III plug and Pray) is not as much as you may think. They advertize sequencial read/write performance which is the LEAST important feature for a OS + program drive!!. There is much less difference in the more important 4K random read/write which generally do not exceed Sata II specs.
The alternative to the 470 would be a Marvel based SATA III drive (ie Crucial M4) MUCH LESS probmatic than the SF-22xx controller based SSDs. You could (1) use on SATA II port (slightly reduced performance) untill you upgrade the MB or (2) purchase a SATA III PCI-e card. However most cards are based on the marvel controller which does not perform as well as the Intel Controller. NOTE do not confuse internal controler with the controller on the MB - 2 diff controllers.
As to long term usage I have 8 SSDs dating back to the Intel G1 80 gig drive. I have not had any problems with any of the older SSDs. 4 of the drives are too new - SATA III and only several monthes old. Only comment I have on the newer drives is other than the OCZ agility was not compatable with my SB laptop, all four of thes are working. Do to the compatability issues I prefer the M4's and the new firmware (9) improved the performance.
Any 2.5" SSD would do; it just depends on how much you want to spend. I have 120 GB Strontium SSD which has sata II port. SSD are much faster than HDD, and they are possibly better to transport, as there are no disk heads to crash.I am happy with the Strontium SSD...it is fast.. helps me to save time of moving files around, and they are cheaper than other brands.