Unfortunately, there is no HDD manufacturer that produces 100% reliable hard disks. From my experience over the past 10 years, including while working in a computer service shop a while back, I’ve seen failures from all the major makers, including previous makers such as Maxtor, Quantum, IBM, Excelstor, etc. covering both 2.5" and 3.5" form factors and a wide range of capacities.
As for the which brand fails more than another, this swings around. For example, several years ago, I seen many Maxtor, Seagate, Samsung and Fujitsu failures and very rarely a WD or Hitachi fail. Lately, I’ve seen quite a lot of WD failures (mostly 2.5" Scorpios and a few 3.5" Caviars) and several Hitachi’s, but just a handful from others and no Samsung or Seagate failures.
My advice which seems to work well for me is to find HDD models (instead of focusing on a brand) on NewEgg with the highest number of user reviews and compare the star ratings. If the HDD has a high number of 1 star ratings with most users saying “DOA”, “Died after 2 weeks”, etc and another has mostly 5 star ratings with very few user reviews of failures, this is fairly good indication that the one with lots of 1 star ratings is not as reliable.
Based on the 1TB F3, there is a 10% user rating of 1 Star out of 859 reviews. The 1 star ratings are mainly about DOA’s and early failures, so this gives a very rough fail estimate of 1 in 10. So unfortunately you were unlucky enough to have 2 fail.
To give a few comparisons, the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB has 29% 1 Star ratings and 47% 5 star ratings out of 2276. This doesn’t really surprise me considering all the people I’ve heard with problems with this particular drive. The Samsung Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 1TB has 4% 1 Star ratings and 79% 5 star ratings out of 153, so this seems to be much more reliable model. The catch however is its slower 5400RPM spindle and that the drive has just recently entered the market. Also, have a look at any HDD with over 100 user reviews, as you’ll see that there is not a single one that doesn’t have any reviews saying “DOA”, “Died after x weeks”, etc.