I spent some time on Hitachi's site, and they list no needed firmware revisions for the 7K60; my drive's firmware is MH40A68A. It could be something specific to IBM, or even the T41 in particular.
I did find software that some might find interesting: Feature Tool V. 194 is out and lets you control various settings of your (Hitachi) hard drive including power management, size, cache enabling, etc. Also there's Disk Fitness Tester v.361 which does pretty much what you'd think. Both create bootable 3.5 floppies and must be run from there (under IBM DOS 2000 - gotta love THAT!), so if you don't have an external floppy you're kinda SOL, although there's a way for the Linux bretheren to work around it.
"Quiet" drives were all the rage what, 2 years ago? Turns out IBM and others simply discovered that if you slowed down the head movement the "chatter" went away, and for a while they were shipping drives with quiet mode on by default. Hitachi, to their credit, ships the 7K60 in "speed" not "quiet" mode, and I can barely hear the drive anyway, but for those who want to change the setting Feature Tool will do it for you (on the desktop drives, too).
Luck, and anybody (WereSHARK? Alex?) with more info on the firmware update issue please chime in.