I own two of these, one is in my desktop, the other in an external enclosure. I've had them for 2 years now. I had one die on me shortly after purchasing it. Western digital fixed it without any issures, in fact, western digital is awesome in that you can advance rma it- meaning they ship you a new one prior to you sending yours in. In this way you are without a hd for far less time. This is also useful if your not sure if its the hd or something else as you'll have two on your hands. also it would, if the hd partly works, allow you to transfer files from the old to the replacement.
As far as noise and performance go, if you really care, check a site like anandtech which gives numbers/direct comparisons. I've found it on par with other hds i've used, the one in my case (P180) is completely inaudible, but thats probably mainly due to the case (although it is quiet). The one in the external enclosure is audible, but it usually isn't real noticeable - a better enclosure might silence it somewhat/completely.
I'd definently recommend WD - great product, great service (I've also owned maxtor, seagate, and ibm, but WD is the only SATA drive I have experience with)