Newegg will have it to you in 3 days. Amazon will be around 10 unless you pay extra for shipping.
Amazon Prime? I'm not sure if it's still available, but there was an offer a while back where if you were a student and had an .edu email address, you could get 1 year of Amazon Prime for free and Prime ships in 2 days.
The Spinpoint & Seagate are generally slightly faster on streaming reads/writes, while the WD drives are slightly faster at random access. All of which is beneath the level of your perception. I'd just recommend getting whichever of the above is cheapest, or failing that, whichever appeals to you most on warranty/reviews/perceived quality. Typically, the Spinpoint & 7200.12 are the same price, while the WD drives are more expensive.
These drives are recommended frequently, because they all (except the WD1001FALS) use new(ish) 500 GB platters, which means that they can pack more data in a smaller physical area...which leads to faster reads & writes. This is also the reason other sizes are not mentioned frequently.
leads to the conclusion that Samsung is the least reliable, meanwhile Western Digital and seagate, may be equal or better.
Of course, that's old data, with old product lines, so it's probably not representative of current models.
Also, this, from the first page:
At this point, we also need to make very clear that the study is not representative and cannot be seen as a comprehensive reliability summary. It reflects only a very tiny fraction of the hard drive market.
And this, from the conclusion:
It's only the case in this study, which we've already said several times is extremely limited. With that said, research data covering the hard drive market is sparse, which is why this study remains interesting. The study is limited to a specific market segment in Eastern Europe, and only includes drives that were analyzed at Storelab. In it, we have user-triggered failures, as well as design failures.
To be clear: I have 4 Seagate drives in my home computers right now, as well as a couple of Hitachi. My point is that there's little good data on hard drive failure rates, so you might as well go with the best value/performance, depending on what you're looking for, and just make sure you take good backups.
... At this point, we also need to make very clear that the study is not representative and cannot be seen as a comprehensive reliability summary. It reflects only a very tiny fraction of the hard drive market.
I agree that is faulty data, but is the only available.
Yeah, but it's old data. It may tell you something about the history of the manufacturers, but it doesn't tell you anything about current drives on the market.
For example, the Seagate drives in the data sample are largely (?) 7200.10 and 7200.11 series. While you can still buy those series on newegg, there's little reason to do so. While it's possible that the original article called out the specific Samsung & WD (etc.) models that are in the study, there's nothing in the Tom's article, so one is left to conclude that they're of a similar age as the Seagate models.
It's interesting, yes. Useful, not so much. You're welcome to form opinions based on the data, but there's not a lot to go on for real judgment of the current offerings from any major manufacturer.