Seagate drives aren't crap. I have quite a number of them (ST3100525AS mostly, 1Tb and 1.5Tb). No particular problems. I've experienced more failed WD drives, though probably not a greater percentage, and I don't look after enough drives to have statistically reliable numbers.
One Seagate drive started reporting an increasing number of errors through SMART (Reallocate Pending). It was in a RAID array so I swapped it out to be safe. Seagate's online warranty process was the best I've ever used, and I had a replacement drive in days.
ALL drive manufacturers have at times shipped batches of problem drives. If you bought many with near-consecutive serial numbers (or many same-spec PCs with near-consecutive serial numbers which amounts to the same thing) then you may experience a high failure rate that does not generalize to other customers whose drives were manufactured a month earlier or later. It's usually not the drive manufacturer's fault that they contain a faulty component.
ALL hard drives that you buy are in some sense prototypes. By the time they've been proved reliable in service (say five years) they are also obsolescent. Accelerated ageing tests can only get a manufacturer so far. Occasionally, the envelope may be pushed too far, and again all manufacturers have occasionally shipped a drive model with less than the hoped for reliability.
The worst experience I ever had was with a batch of Samsung 40Gb drives that went from working to brick in the blink of an eye (4-5 years back). Despite this, I'll gave Samsung the benefit of the doubt, and recent Spinpoints have been fine. Most hard drive problems I've experienced haven't been so suddenly terminal. They've shown signs of distress (I/O errors, or SMART reallocations) and I've managed to rescue all data off the failing drive.
Google are the only organisation I'm aware of that has published drive failure statistics for statistically significant numbers of drives. They said that they could find no evidence that any of the major manufacturers made drives that were significantly more or less reliable than the others. Their problems were with batches, not with manufacturers.
Whenever I'm constructing a RAID-1 (mirror) I always pair drives from two different manufacturers, to minimize the risk of common-mode failure (a bad batch of drives).