Western Digital seems to have been on a downward path for quite a long time....I'm not sure why they are still in business.
Seagate had a real rough period a few years back. Their 1.5TB models especially had a lot of trouble. A lot of people are still boycotting them for that reason. Not sure how long your "long time" is.
Boycotting manufacturers rather than models is pointless, but it's like banks. People get screwed and vow never to give money to X again, even though Y and Z are equally likely to screw them.