Hi all -
Long time reader, first time poster (I know you don't care, I just wanted to say it).
My 7K250 250GB SATA also has cat meow sound (although mine is more like squeaky hinge, as someone else mentioned).
My point is not to be part of the gang. Rather, it is to point out again to the SR crew, that SR should include a reference to this noise in the review, specifically under Heat & Noise. It sounds (no pun int.) like your testbed drive(s) didn't have this issue, but clearly there is a concensus here that this noise happens and is of concern. Many have clearly stated that despite its killer performance, if they had been aware the drive had this feature (to use HGST speak), they wouldn't have bought it. At the very least, your review should mention that its a hot topic in your forum section.
Hitachi should get on the stick with providing some way to deal with this, firmware or whatever. I've got a Caviar 160 PATA which rocks, as well, and doesn't have this annoyance associated with it. Hey HGST, which drive do you think I'll buy next?
I say all this as someone who is very happy with the drive - performance does trump noise - but I don't sleep next to it, either (and its not that much faster).