LOL, IBM deskstar (wasn't that the 20GB), that was looong after they went from 1024 to 1000 bytes.. Back then the harddrives was measured in MB - I remember how idiotic I found it when a 128 MB harddrive wasn't 128MB anymore - come to think of it, I still find it idiotic as I simply never seen the point in moving away from base 2 as long as everything else is in that number system.
(For anyone not knowing, it goes like this: 0,1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512,1024 (1024 is 1k not 1000 as it is on harddrives, but the operating system still consider 1024 bytes to be 1KB, 1024KB to be 1MB, 1024MB to be 1GB and finally 1024GB to be 1TB). In other words, the difference between 1000 and 1024 keeps multiplying and is the reason a claimed 4TB hardddrive is in reality only 3.638TB)
It is a general trouble that to bringing production cost down, quality is allowed to drop until the product can not be trusted, but it is in a way the consumers fault who seem to favor low prize over quality whatever they buy.
Like you, I do tend to become a little nostalgic myself when thinking about the quality offered by among others Plextor (heck I still rip my music CDs the Adaptec AHA-2940AU/PX-40TS aka UltraPlex40 SCSI way)
WD Black used to be my go-to for desktop setups. I Use WD Enterprise 2TB in my RAID and had no problem. Will have to start building a new 16-disk RAID 6 configuration to replace the old this year as I am running out of space. I consider using the same WD model, but this time WD RE Enterprise 4TB (WD4000FYYZ). Still just on the 'drawing-board' though as I am considering what controller to use (not all supports RAID 6 and the ones able to drive it adequately costs quite a bit)