Regardless of what brand you buy you should find a way to test the card thoroughly. I'm fortunate to have the computer skills to construct my own tests, which I typically run around 30 passes. Why? Think about what could be wrong with a new flash card, be it CF or any other package.
- Could be a counterfeit made with inferior flash chips that work fine a few times, then die
- Could have a major manufacturing defect that causes the whole card to fail catastrophically
- Could have minor defects that affect a limited number of cells
If the card survives 30 passes of a decent test then the probability of outright failure is pretty small. Also, for small defects, the controller in the flash card will "map out" bad cells as it finds them, and 30 passes should be enough to eliminate nearly all bad cells.
No, I have no engineering data to prove that 30 passes is adequate, but it's much better than putting my trust in a fresh, new flash card, regardless of brand.
I tend to buy Transcend, which is a well-regarded budget brand.