Originally Posted by radodrill
I've had pretty good success with all the external drive enclosures I've used over the years.
TBH though, I don't think you'd notice any difference between USB 2.0 or IEEE1394 (firewire) since the limiting factor is going to be the throughput of the drive itself. Most IDE HDDs are capable of max 100Mbps; while USB2.0 is capable of 480Mbps and IEEE1394 has a rated throughput of 400Mbps.
Actually IDE have a maximum burst speed of 100MBs, or 133MBs, maximum not 100Mbs. Depending on the drive you can only get about 60 to 70MBs of sustained of read rate and less for write. USB2.0 has a maximum burst speed of 480Mbs or around 60MBs, but its sustained throughput is less. Firewire maximum throughput speed is 400Mbs a second or around 50MBs but its sustained throughput rate is higher then that of USB2.0. The limiting factor is the drive but it also included that fact that data has to pass through a IDE to USB or Firewire bridge which slows down the data flow. Usually you will get around 30 to 40MBs transfer rate which is acceptable for back up. I wouldnt use it for editing video. I have used cheap and expensive external usb and firewire cases and there is really no difference between them. I shy away from firewire as it really never caught on in PCs except for Video Cameras. I have no switch over to Esata using a Port multiplier allowing up to 5 drives to share one eSata channel which allows adding more drives as my backups get larger.