Well I'll put it to you this way. I have 4 "basic" Roamios with 3-4TB drives, been using for years (just CMR drives, nothing fancy with specialty firmware). Power supplies, just the standard 12v 2A. I do use some 8-12TB drives, with those I upgraded the power supply/AC adapter to 3-3.5A ($10-15). I WOULD avoid the external add on, another point of failure, have the main and the flash drive already. The Purple and the Red have 3 year warranty. Heck if cost is no object you could actually try a Gold, WDs best drive, 5 year warranty. Bottom line, maybe I've been lucky but my Roamios have been solid for a good amount of years (3-4). Have not had a drive failure (knock on wood), I did have to replace a power supply/adapter once. Many people have old model Tivos with drives that have been working for over 5 years (myself included). And finally, one big advantage to a Roamio, you can keep backup drives, can swap around drives whenever you want (as long as on same OS, TE3 or TE4). If worried about drive failures just clone the drive every 3-4 years and keep the original as a backup. Good luck, might be actually thinking too much, 3-4TB 3.5" CMR upgrades pretty standard, rarely do I read about a Roamio drive failure, Bolts with 2.5", well............................... Edit: The Gold is a 7200 RPM drive I think. Some people say not to use 7200 in a Tivo because of heat issues. I have used 7200 myself with no problems. 5400 "safer" though I guess.