I had 2xSATA failures inside a week,so this statement "Seagate expects drives with NCQ to last longer than drives without it, because their moving parts simply move less day to day." will be taken with pinch of salt.
"Or maybe the smart move would be to wait for a 10,000-rpm drive with NCQ. Now that would be cool." Obviously never ran one for any length of time,mine will happily sear the skin off any bit of my body they contact. :-)