External hard drive solutions

I’m looking for external hard drive solutions for making disk images and backups of a couple of our office laptops. Any opinions on 4200/5400/7200 rpm and bus-powered vs. transformer-powered would be welcomed. Tom’s hardware had a good review in “Mobile Data Storage: Up To 160 GB via USB and FireWire,” “External, But How? Mobile Storage Solutions Compared,” and “Smart and Simple: Portable 2.5″ Hard Drives from Fujitsu and Valueplus.”

My conclusion so far is that Firewire (built into one of the laptops and available in PC Card for the other) is the best way to go, and a 3.5″ drive the best choice. A fan is wise, and I think 7200 rpm is attractive, but worry about the noise and heat.

Any experiences would be welcomed. Epinions has some relevant reviews. A package deal like this at USB-Ware.com – 160 Gb, 7200 rpm, 2 Mb cache in an ADS Firewire/USB2 case for $270 – looks like a pretty good deal.

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