Of the two hard drives I've ever had from WD, both have lasted less than 1.5 years.
I've had a 750gb Elements and a 750gb My Book.
The Book was DOA. I had it replaced under warranty, after which point it worked for a few months before dying a terrible and inconvenient death.
The Elements drive served me well for the last year... until recently when I opened it up to do my usual backup and I found this:
I *had* 600gb of photography and music backups on this drive. Now it appears I have nothing.
Luckily for me I am super-paranoid and I keep redundant backups of everything, so I used a few more of my (Maxtor) 250gb drives and I'm all backed up again after 10 hours of backups.
I now keep a set of backups that sits on a shelf and gets updated once a month, a working set that gets updated at the end of every day, and a set off-site that gets updated once every 6 months or so. Plus my Time Machine drive that gets updated twice a day.
Prepared? You bet.
Keep your stuff safe folks! Stay away from Western Digital and make sure to keep an extra backup regardless of which brand you use - all hard drives crash eventually!