Originally Posted by Hybris
In the end I am more worried about performance rather than how quiet a fan is.
Already my current rig runs at about 70 dB or so on average due to the case being open so I have gotten used to having a noisy rig.
Traditionally from just looking at stats if I want brute CFM's then I either get a massive fan or I get a smaller Delta tech that eats power but moves almost as much air as was in the breath god used against the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Like others have said, a quality fan is all your looking for. The cooler will not see meaningful gains so IMO it is up to you what you buy given the market. I still stand by my earlier statement and recommend a fan that has decent pressure (and yes, I reviewed the links and the author even stated the testing perameters) since it will be connected to the tower.
Elohim, the pressures that you mentioned are not comparative (35% differential).
All in all, heat exchangers are about surface area. The more the better for cooling. The ambient system temps will ultimately dictate the heatsinks ability to cool (or dissipate heat). Tests always show the chassis used so that comparable models can be referenced (due to chassis airflow). So, use a fan that is aesthetically pleasing with similar characteristics of the stock fans (ie the Noctua's), as you will not see a huge difference in temp (as your chassis is referenced as an open case). As I have seen it, maybe around 3-4 C difference (given 3 searches).
Now, addressing the painting. It is not practical to paint a fan (blades), as they are balanced somewhat from the factory. Painting them can compromise that balance, but using a dye has less impact. The housing can be painted, but masking the rotor would be tedious. Is it worth the effort?