I was an avvid Sega fan, then turned Playstation fan after Sega stopped producing consoles. I saved up some money in late 2007 and it was a quick decider between PS3 and 360. It turned out that Xbox was the wise decision due to the fact that PS3 was about 100 more expensive and that EVERYONE had an Xbox.
Elite was perfect as it was the first (and only at the time) 360 console to feature HDMI connection, so a simple 1 cable connection to my TV.. Also, I had heard that the cooling system had been improved so no more Red Lights of DEATH!. Also, the Elite is no more or less noisey than the other Xbox consoles. They are all pretty noisey, with harsh fans and a very clunky sounding CD drive, but that isn't too much of an issue.
All was good for about 2 years. My Xbox was laying dorment for 2 months or so due to me making the mistake of starting World of Warcraft again but I soon quit that and in January 2010, I purchased a new headset to replace the original that I'd stepped on and also purchased 3 months of Xbox live.
Then, literally the next day, my Xbox graphics started breaking up and upon restarting my console, I just get 'display mode not compatible' or 'no input detected' messages from my TV and the screen stays blank. My Xbox still signs me into live but I get no response from the graphics side of things.
After researchng for a while and phoning Microsoft, I found out that it is a GPU error. The graphics card had basically fried itself and because the console had NO Red Lights of Death, Microsoft DO NOT provide a free repair or replacement.
So be warned. It's a mint console and definately the better choice in the PS3 competition but you will not own the Xbox for more than 2 years before it will die on you. I have so many friends who had the same problem too.
Microsoft cover your console for free replacement up to 1 year. Then they have a 3 year guarantee that covers the console against red lights of death. If you console dies of anything other than red lights though, then they want 84 to have a look at it and will send your console back unrepaired if they can't fix it.
It's a bit of a con in that sense because after paying out 30 for headset+live, I'm left with nothing and as i'm a Uni Student I can't afford the to have the console repaired either.
So be warned. Save some money aside incase it does break down outside of the warranty period.