So far, I am pleased with the flash drives I use - oldest one has been in use for about 3 years. Had one failure. Quick thumbnail of each:
1G Data Traveler (U3) - I use it as a portable hard drive with it's own OS, Firefox Browser with my favorites, Thunderbird E-Mail that lets me access my e-mail like a POP3
1G Sony MicroVault - Use it for transporting files mainly. It has a file compression program (similar to ZIP I guess) that lets you compress files to 1/3 their size so the capacity actually comes close to 3G. I took it and my transfer cable on a recent trip to Australia/New Zealand. I was able to move my photos from my Sony digital camera to the Microvault and reuse the camera memory sticks.
SONY 512MB - My oldest one - use it to keep financial information, passwords, and other stuff that I don't want to keep on the PC permanantly. I back it up to CD.
1G MicroCenter (Freebie) - Went south after about two months use. I guess you get what you pay for.
Unknown 512MB (Freebie) - Only had it for a couple of months.