I had two Intel 520's crap out in a day, in which I lay blame on the Sandforce controller. I originally purchased an Intel X25-M in 2010 and it is still running like a champ today and it uses Intel's own controller. After having to RMA one Intel, and then the next, I went with the Samsung 830 and it has been fantastic.
If I were in the market for one right now, I would wait about 5-6 days and get the new Samsung 840 Pro(if you don't mind paying a premium). If you want something a little more value oriented just grab a Samsung 830 while they are on sale. I can also recommend the Corsair Neutron GTX, the OCZ Vertex 4 and the Plextor M5 Pro(which falls in the same category as the Samsung 840 Pro in terms of a premium).
Cliff Notes: I would suggest for your first experience with an SSD to stay away from anything with a Sandforce controller. Recommended models: Samsung 830/840 Pro, Plextor M5 Pro, Corsair Neutron GTX, OCZ Vertex 4