After 10 months my premium 360 couldn't read discs, it got carted off to Microsoft, to swap the disc drive, so I thought, I spent the most of August playing Wii Sports.. Since Blue Dragon was released on the last Friday, and still no 360.. I got the Elite on release. It's worth the money, it's quieter from both the fans and disc drive. the inclusive HDMI cable gives only a slightly better picture than component, so I got a Phillips gold plated (24k), triple shielded and oxygen free copper, and the picture is greatly improved - strangely only men could tell.. nevermind that..
When I got my premium 360 back, well, a replacement.. I compared the two systems, both consoles on and there's an audiable diffrence, the Elite is noticeably quieter, the noise from the disc drive varies from game to game. I find that having mine standing beside my tv and by wall, it hides the noise a little.
Under the hood, the Elite IS more reliable, be it the revised motherboard or the apoxy-resin on the triple core processor - this is because whoever (currently) build the 360, use non-toxic solder which has a lower melting point than the toxic stuff, so the 360 could effectively remove it's own brain as the solder - which makes it important to make sure the console can 'breathe'.
At least 6inches space behind the console, 3 inches the 3 'sides', do not put it in a tv cabinet, the glass front / back panel will cook it.
Also, never for any reason move the console while a disc is inside or the disc will get scratched to the point it's unplayable, game stores know of this and class it as your fault
The Elites revisions aren't what they could of been, namely..
the disc drive - some games cause heart churning noises, the disc is spinning faster than any other console, backing a HD format could of been a way of quieting things.
Secondly the heatsinks, these take heat away from the processors, keeping things cool as possible, keeping things running smoothly, at least most the time..
Maybe the Ultimate edition will cure these problems, and as usual, the revisions go into the cheaper versions.
In this Next-Gen era, games seem to ship with niggles, bugs and glitches., so whether it's a 360, or the Blu-Ray player, aka PS3, I strongly recommend getting it connected to the internet, always logged on for any patches and extra content..
moving onto games, 360 is the only place you can play Gears of War, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Forza 2 / Project Gotham Racing, Lost Odyssey and Bioshock..
EA are planning to port Mass Effect to PS3, if it's anything like FEARs, Orange Box's ports it'll be unplayable, if it does work, than it'll be one of the best games on the console (I'm sure Microsoft actually played a big part in its development)..As Microsoft love to point out, Xbox 360 is where to get the full GTA IV experience - because of exclusive downloadable content - which also could mean any PS3 content will also appear on 360 after a time, but 360 content stays 360 content..
Also 360 version games usually get the higher review scores between the 3 consoles, they also run better, 360 even does 1080p better than PS3 (360 has more system memory (512mb) that's used for games, PS3's operating system uses up more hardware, only 256mb available in a few cases)
Lastly, the 120gb hdd, you get 114gb to yourself, this space will last an age, I download a lot of trailers, a few demos, 2 Xbox originals, around 80 albums on there, I have around 70gb remaining, so there's no need to keep making more space for your next download like with the 20gb..
Because I get so much out of my 360, my other consoles get no use.. my Elite is still going strong, I just wish Microsoft were a bit more quality orientated from the start..