True enough about the reliability. And to me it's always been an unfair comparison to say that SCSI is faster/better than IDE.
And I'm one step away from a certified SCSI fanboy!
SCSI doesn't automatically make a drive better than an IDE drive.
When comparing drives, first look here at StorageReview.
The bigger questions are what class is the drive targeted to, and who makes it?
SCSI drives are usually targetted to Enterprise environments, therefore they have better build quality than a desktop drive -- especially when used in a high volume / low idle time environments.
You should not compare an enterprise drive and a home/desktop drive.
(BTW I *hate* the nominclature. I always use "enterprise" drives on my "desktop." or "FloorTop" as the case may be)
If your machine frequently sits idle or spends most of its time "off" then speed is the only advantage SCSI holds. And I mean 10k rpm vs. 15k rpm, not 160-320MB/s vs "only" 150MB/s.
Personally I have used SCSI drives exclusively since 1986...until this year.
My last non-SCSI drive was a 30MB RLL unit in an IBM PC/XT.
I have repaired / replaced many an IDE drive during that time, and just as many "low end" SCSI drives.
Earlier this year I bought a WD 80GB drive for storage, and now have a 36GB raptor.
And I can see one of those 7k250's in my future.
( OF course, I'm fighting the urge to stuff a couple of Cheetah 15k.3's in my Shuttle box rather than the Raptor. )
[ Alot of rambling ]
Noise is an issue for me, but it's like compaining about the engine noise in a Dodge Viper or a Ferrari. It comes with the territory.
The drives I currently use are considered some of the noisiest drives in history.
The 1st Gen. Cheetah takes the prize, though. Sounds like not-to-distant machine gun fire when it's Active. Every time my wife says "What's that racket?" I respond wth, "It's that Old Cheetah...and yes my door was closed."
BTW, I've had that old Cheetah (4GB) running for what seems like 5+ years. (Maybe 6?). I've had a 1st gen Barracuda (2.1GB) running for 7-8 years. (( Don't blast me about the number of years. Memory fades. )) These drives are not as active as they used to be. Each one was my primary drive in my main PC before retiring to lighter duty.
And now I have had a couple of Cheetah X15s running for ~4 years (whenever they came out).
[ Rambling over ]
If you want ultimate speed, the top-of-line SCSI drives leave everything else in the dust. But I think you can get 80% of the performance for <50% of the price with the new ATA drives. And ATA will give you the ultimate in quiet.
But I'm still buying those 15k.3s - - refurbished.
(Whew that was kinda long, wasn't it?)