I can't give you a list, but I can tell you from my personal experience. I have two friends - well, many friends - both of them working in diferent IT stores. They told me the most reliable consumer HDDs, regarding the warranty returns, are Western Digital. In my notebook I have a 320 GB HDDs Black Caviar 1 year and a half old. In my desktop I have two WDs, the older one having over 4 years. My desktop runs continuously since 6 years ago, as it hosts my email on my own domain. So that older WD has by now over 4 years of non-stop activity.
I have had 3 WD Caviar Black HD's go down prematurely this year. I hear from a Tiger Direct guy that these drives have had significant reliability/failure issues.
OK, So, me too: is there a WD or other manufacturer series that has proven reliability?
I'd gladly pay a premium price for premium performance.
This may all be a moot point because after all the problems I've had with PC-based hardware, firmware and software, i've finally gone to an iMac for my main work platform.
NOTE: I've had about 99.99% reliability with the Mac, which is orders of magnitude better than all the PC types I've been screwed by.
Consider this: Of the 4 PC-based computers we've had at our recording studio, EVERY ONE of them eventually failed to the point that our customer base was about to lose confidence in continuing with us. Since I brought in my personal iMac, NOT ONE issue.
I figure the difference is that Apple makes sure that every component in their systems functions to specified levels of compatibility and reliability for long term useability. Honestly, after replacing failed motherboards, HDs, DVD-Rs etc in my PC-based systems, I could have bought 2 Macs, and avoided the frustration and down time, not to mention the added hassle of continually corrupted firmware and OS files.
To be fair, the Shuttle brand of PCs, upon which the Music XPC line is based is relied upon by many recording studios to run Microsoft programs. They seem to be, by far, the most reliable units I have seen for heavy number crunching demands, ie, music recording and gaming. However, even this workhorse brand is vulnerable to the well documented instabilities and malware threats so rampant in the PC/Microsoft world.