Ok, the most important question that needs asked, is how much space were you actually using? If you had a 100GB drive, and never filled it, then a solid state drive would be an excellent fit, and bring some new life to an older machine.
If you used more than 250GB (500GB SSD's are still expensive), then moving to a hybrid drive would be ideal. Current generation spinners are much quicker than older drives, so you will have a nice little speed bump either way.
As for brands and reliability: Don't fret over it. In my home, I have 14 hard drives in use (active daily use). I finally replaced a 3 drive raid array that has been running for more than 4 years. I have Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital, Plextor, and Patriot drives. In all - I have had 1 premature failure (a Seagate) the replacement has been running for 5 years since. Only one Samsung has died of age so far, but it was a boot/scratch drive on my server.
Most of my drives are getting older now, and I replace them based on size more than anything else. The end results speak for themselves. With over 20 drives in the last 10 years, only 2 failures, both different brands, and certainly nothing that could be considered a trend.
Now, if I went back more than 10 years... that is a different story. I couldn't keep a Western Digital drive running past the warranty end date. Every drive died within months of the warranty expiring. IBM/Hitachi earned a reputation with the Deskstars (DeathStar), as they had a scary high failure rate. But that was better than 10 years ago, and those trends have long since passed.
If you do decide to go with a SSD, then I suggest looking into Crucial, Samsung, and Plextor. They all use Marvell controllers, which are known for high compatability rates, and they are all made quite well. I personally suggest the Plextor M3Pro or M5Pro. They use higher quality NAND flash, and carry a 5 year warranty.
Edited by waldojim42, 19 January 2014 - 04:05 PM.