I own 2 500GB Passport Elite drives (6 months) and no problems yet. They come with a passport dock which I abhor due to its design as it can easily scratch the usb port on the drive, and the extra cable incase you don't use the dock is only 18 inches long. The software that comes with the drive also automatically eats up around 700mb of drive space which is a real waste. You can choose to hide it, but you can't get rid of it no matter what you do. I did not bother to try but that is a huge rip off to me. 700mb can mean lots of documents and spreadsheets. That said, the WD Smartware can be useful for drive readings like temperature, space, etc. However its huge size is completely unnecessary. Hence bloatware.
Bear in mind that these drives are not intended to always be on and constantly reading/writing. I back up whatever I want to them and then disconnect. I may occasionally use one of the drives to watch a movie from or access files on applications just to see if the transfer was done properly and they seem to work at a decent speed. However USB does use CPU power and that's one of the main reason I try to avoid USB products as much as I can. I highly recommend Passport Elite drives as the warranty is longer, if you are going to be transporting large amounts of data. Even at 4500rpm, they are still pretty fast if you don't mind USB 2.0.
Last but not least, I will never again buy from WD or any other manufacturer if they don't include the option to remove their bloatware. But these days, you just can't run from one manufacturer to another, there's always something you will not like. I only bought them because I needed something external to backup to.
Goodluck and hope you liked my input.
[FONT="Century Gothic"][COLOR="DarkRed"]I refuse to believe there aren't better ways to obtain what we need from nature. If it requires destruction, torture, cruelty, and disrespect for life in order for me to get the end product, I will gladly pass.[/COLOR][/FONT]