We've sold somewhere close to 2000 Samsung drives now, maybe a few more more, though I'd have to count back through the purchase orders to be sure. We passed the 1000 mark quite a while back, so if it ain't 2000 yet it must be close.
These days, I don't sell anything else if I can help it. For starters, nothing else has an across-the-board three year warranty. I think the warranty cuts introduced by WD, Maxtor, Seagate and IBM/Hitachi demonstrate bad faith, and are evidence that they don't honestly believe that their drives are as reliable as they ought to be - if your product is good, why do you try to get out of giving it a warranty that lasts as long as the standard two to three year warranty you get with any decent brand of CD-ROM drive, DVD, CD burner, motherboard, RAM, or videocard?
But you don't want to read my opinions (in any case, you can probably guess them after all these years!) You want the raw numbers.
Well, bad news, after a fashion: we have now had a gand total of 7 Samsung drives to RMA. 3 with one or two bad sectors but otherwise OK, 4 with more serious failures. Plus there was one that was semi-DOA - a 20 or 30GB drive that only came up as 8GB beause of something funky with the LBA system. I forget if that is one of the 7 or if it makes 8 in total. (I have notes posted somewhere. Probably at the other place. Must look them up.)
But let's be conservative and call it 8 out of 2000. That's ... er ... 0.4%. Not as good as the 0.1% we were sitting on for a long, long time, but still vastly better than any other drive I've ever sold, even the wonderful IBM drives in the 1.08 to 3.2GB class, or the Seagate Medalists from just before they went to those crappy U Series things.
We no longer have enough drives of any other brand to provide meaningful comparisons between manufacturers. At a rough guess, 95% of the drives we have out there in service are Samsungs. Even so, that (estimated) 5% makes up 80% or more of our RMA returns - practically all Seagates and Western Digitals in the 10 to 40GB range. (No Maxtors or IBM, but then we have precisely 2 Maxtor drives in service and 0 IBMs - that's counting "sold new by us and within the three year warranty period" as "in service".
Performance? Well, a failed drive has an average access time of 6 weeks and a data transfer rate of zero. In my book, that's enough to save me the trouble of looking at performance numbers. Until I have some reason to think that one or other of the short-warranty manufacturers has lifted their game to match Samsung's standards, we won't even consider selling them.
The only drives I use in my own systems now (outside of Samsung) are Seagate X15s. I bought another one just today, may pick up a 73GB one in a few weeks time. For all my distaste for their ultra-crappy U Series things, and my "just OK" assessment of the IDE 7200s, Seagate's SCSI drives are all class.
Would I do well to consider the WD Raptors? I nearly bought one for myself a while back, but by the time I bought a new motherboard for the SATA, I was most of the way to getting another X15 (and I already had the SCSI controller), so I stayed with the Seagate. One day, I will have a Seagate SCSI drive fail on me. Hasn't happened yet though.