I agree about Newegg reviews not being the best scientific basis for decisions. However - doing my own testing for reliability also is not even close to practical. Nor is it for any normal review site. No one except a very large user can accumulate sufficient data, and in a timely period.
What I generally do is start with Newegg and Amazon. They are usually a good concentrated source of customer feed back. I start from the bottom of the list (one star) and I read my way up. Some of them are quite straight forward and are likely to be correct (e.g., DOA, replacement DOA, failed after 30 days). Then I apply some thought to the others. Like the guy complaining that he just bought a USB 3 drive but it didn't run any faster than his USB 2 he had been using (probably on a USB 2 port). And I go through them all. I never just look at the totals at this point. Then, after having read them, I look a bit at the overall ratings and mentally adjust for what I have read.
Looking at all the 3 and 4 TB drives, around 50% of the reviews are three stars or below. With heavy weighting toward 1 star. I believe this is probably the most valid reliability information I am likely to find, and probably is a pretty good reflection of reality. I really have not seen a good scientific evaluation. The stuff Storage Review is not real useful. It is mostly too old and in many cases too small a sample. It is unfortunate because that could be an excellent resource. And a long time ago, it was. I was a member of this forum since it was in diapers, and real men rode bucking bulls down to the store to buy their huge 50 MB drives. I do not treat things lightly.
I have three Costco drives sitting here in their boxes (the cashier was pleased to see us yesterday). From research last night, I believe they will all be the 5900 rpm 4TB drives. I was actually shooting to the 7200, but on reflection on comments and some actual published performance comparisons I believe I am actually happier to have these drives. I have yet to decide to open the boxes. The price ($180)was not great (it was $20 less in Jan and Feb) and I paid sales tax. But on the other hand, if I have a DOA, no shipping or time delay. But I have long had an aversion to Seagate drives.
And just after posting this I opened today's Newegg ad and they have the Seagate STBD4000400 for $169 free shipping.
Does anyone have a recommendation for any freeware that can be used to do a thorough exercising of the drives and report what is going on. I would like to run them for a few days before I put any data on them and try to get past the real short infant mortality thing. I will need to take the drives out of their cases when I actually use them, so a little testing via USB feels like a good thing to do.