Take heed of the mantra repeated often by R.Proffitt, that hard disks should be considered temporary storage. More long term storage is in CDR/W disks.
With that in mind I have noticed little to no difference in the quality of drives offered by Western Digital/Seagate/Maxtor. With the exception of IBMs Deskstar(Deathstar). The only difference lies in the length of warranty and the ease of obtaining an RMA.
All of those drives should fit into most external enclosures without much issue.
I am shopping for a new hard drive. I have thrown around a few options.
One is to get a firewire or USB external drive. I am not sure I would need that much flexibility however, and as they are more expensive, I'm not sure it's worth that much.
But my other option that I have considered is getting an IDE/ATA drive for now, and if I need it, get a USB or Firewire enclosure, making it more portable. Is this reasonable or not? Are all enclosures compatible with UATA? Is there any thing I should watch out for when shopping? I have been told to stay away from Western Digital and look for Seagates. Thanks.