You should be fine with the WD drives. You can find posts about any drive dying on someone.
they do indeed have the fastest IDE hard drive avilible right now.
Actually, every review I've read comparing the "8MB" WD with the IBM 120GXP said that each one had a similar share of victories when benchmarked. The conclusion was always that the IBM was better in the desktop environment as it handled smaller files better but that the WD was better in a server environment or used for work involving very large files.
I apparently side-stepped the 75GXP problem (never had one die on me) so I continued with the 60GXP and 120GXP series and have never had one of those die either. Maybe I'm just lucky with HDDs.