egh? Whats a more normal that usual fan?
I've heard very bad things about Lacie external drives, albeit from pros who use them day in day out 9-5.
How often are you going to use your enclosure and at what intensity?
If you are going to use it primarily for backup (intense disk activity for a few hours, but infrequently used) you are best off going for:
1) Long warranty. As a back up and primary are very unlikely to fail at the same time, there is not point worrying about reliability. Most disks are much of a muchness anyway.
2) Good cooling. I use an Antec MX-1 which keeps hard disks cooler than in the main pc case. The fan is noisy though. Not loud, but produces a hum at an annoying frequency.
I think a lot of external drive problems are cause by excessive heat build up which is the no.1 cause of premature hard disk failure. They should be kept below 50c, but I imagine that being very hard to achieve enclosed tightly in a very small space.
If you are going to use it frequently, day to day to play your media files, you should seriously consider implementing a full backup regime so you don't have to worry about data failure.
Alternately, you could do a bit of research for the quietest, coolest enclosure you can find and stick in a 750gb - 1tb desktop drive. They are much of a muchness when it comes to reliability I think. I would again go for the longest warranty.