Note: I updated this post on 28 September 2008 to reflect new options and better prices.
I've been needing a new external hard drive myself for a while now and after considerable research and deliberation, I selected one that did the trick. This drive is by Fantom and the reviews are consistently very good. The company also appears to be very responsive to faulty, or defective products.
The first drive is about $15 more than it's USB 2.0 brother, but I absolutely wanted the Firewire option for doing video work and high speed transfers, so it's worth it by far. It has BOTH USB 2.0 and Firewire 1394a (400) interfaces.
The drive is very quiet and cool with the only complaint from a very tiny minority of folks being the bright, blue LED light on the front, but frankly, that's a non-issue for me. If it's in your bedroom facing your pillow, well then you may have a problem, but now c'mon, are you serious? It's next to your pillow . . . ?
The second drive is double the capacity at 1 Terabyte (approx. 1000 gigabytes) and an outstanding drive for backups or video or anything else that needs a lot of space and speed. It has top ratings and an unbeatable price. It has only eSATA or USB though so watch it if you need Firewire.
Check them out and please comment back if you decide to get one and have any thoughts about it . . .
May your tech forays be fruitful!