Western Digital is probably the oldest hard drive manufacturer around and the quality of their drives easily shows why they're still going strong. I still have my 1st PC that I keep around for playing old games and inside is the original 200MB WD hard drive that is pushing 20yrs old and still works flawlessly, along with a 15yr old 2GB Maxtor drive. DOA drives are unfortunately a fact of life because they are mechanical and are very precise instruments. They might be knocked in transit or have manufacturing defects, but for the number of drives that are sold every day it's just bad luck if you happen to get a dud and shouldn't be considered an indicator of poor reliability. Thankfully I've never had a WD drive arrive DOA or even die during use, but it's pretty much guaranteed that I will at some point in the future now that I have some running 24/7.
I currently have 4 of the older EARX drives in my home server (using software RAID - hardware RAID has known issues with those drives) and they're whisper quiet and stay very cool. The newer EZRX drives are supposed to bring some of the features of the WD Red drives (built for NAS boxes and hardware RAID) that should make them an even better choice. I'm especially hopeful that their 'StableTrac' feature will reduce the low hum that comes from having multiple hard drives in one machine.
I'm pretty confident in my decision to buy another 4 of these drives and can recommend them to anyone looking for good value, decent drives.