Apple's iPods have incredibly quiet hard drives, but I'm always wary of relying on something with moving parts. Hard drives are usually what fail on my computers, and the drive in my Archos Jukebox is also starting to act up.
The perfect solution, though it doesn't offer as much storage space, is flash media. The new iPod is incredibly small, has an awesome color display that can show album photos, and it uses a solid state disk device that basically doesn't move at all.
I liked the iPod Shuffle, but it's storage capacity and lack of a display left something to be desired (that something being more space and a display). As an aside, imagine if the "something to be desired" I spoke of was a Vanilla Latte. That'd be ridiculous.