Are today's new computer hard drives just simply junk?

One of the big "gotchas" with hard drives and their warranties, is that if you do return the drive for repair/replacement, depending on the nature of the failure, you may be giving them your confidential files! Whether they repair or replace, do you trust them not to look at your data? And if it is out of warranty and your only option is to turn it in for recycling, you better physically destroy the platter(s) first if it isn't functioning well enough to perform an erase. And of course these concerns are there regardless of the length of the warranty. You just have to hope that the longer the warranty, the longer it actually lasts.