I know there are a thousand opinions as there are belly buttons in this world around external hard drives. I've found the reviews on Macworld, Amazon and the rest of web rather limited to bench-testing or consumer level reviews, and thought addressing this to working pros with their on-hands experience I might get better recommendations from those in the trenches.
Requirements; 2.5 HD, FW800 and bus powered, Macbook Pro. I've used the LaCie Rugged drives sparingly without trouble against a rather large general opinion against doing so. Also used the G-Tech Mini drives with good success, though came across a couple 750GB models who's performance were well below general FW800 specs, i.e.... slow read and write times. Their larger desktop models have been hit and miss in the past, mostly miss; FW daisy chains that go into spasms down the line, mounting and un-mounting of drives sporadically, customer service's response to send in for newer firmware (?) like it's a know problem (?). I've used WD Passport to hand off client files which seem ok but really looking for something I can depend on for rock solid performance on all levels.
Recently, decided to built my own with WD Black Scorpion 750GB in Oyen Digital cases with Oxford Chips (nice!!!). Case similar if not same as G-Tech Mini's though not sure what chip-set G-Tech uses. That combination was problematic on WD's side; their energy saving's firmware they build into the 2.5 drives don't seem to play well with Macs; constant head parking and awaking every ~20'sec or so. Higher tier customer service acknowledge the issue but they don't have a solution for it on the Mac end. So.... that BLACK 7200rpm level drive with a 5 year warranty starts ramping up the cycle counts pretty quickly which may or not affect it's longevity, but the thing drives me crazy with it's parking racket, and accessing it takes a little longer while waiting for it to pull itself together; sad cause this combination has a lot of potential on both ends (drive / case / chipset).
So.... I can buy pretty much anything for the short term of handling off files to a client, but really need something that's going to stand up to the rigors of a 2-3 week catalog shoot where the drive's are being used for 15hr plus days. Thanks in advance.