No errors in S.M.A.R.T., though? I'd say it's a good drive if it lasted that long with no errors, though it still depends on how many power cycles it has as well. And well, at least it isn't limited to PIO mode. As for Compaq, I wouldn't rail them on that much... their older power supplies at least were quality and overbuilt units.
I don't mind noise so much but if I had to choose between "silent" and "loud", I'd go with silent, though sometimes with noisier drives I find it helps that they give me audible portendings of failure.