If you use USB 3.0, it doesn't matter what hard drive you use for a file transfer, it'll be slower than any modern hard drive can write. The interface is going to bottleneck the speed.
eSATA is better. With eSATA, the transder speed be limited by the speed at which the hard drive can write. --> better setup
The fastest hard drives are those with 1TB/ platter design. Like the HGS 7K1000.D 1TB, Seagate Barracuda 1TB / 3TB etc.
Neither is fast enough still to saturate the SATA II (3Gb/s) bandwidth, so, SATA II / SATA III does not matter. SATA II / III is the pipeline width through which data is transfmiteted. You just need enough not to bottleneck the capability of your hard drive.
i7-2600k @4.5GHz, Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B, 8GB DDR3 1600, GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3P, GeForce 9500GT, PC P&C 610W, Plextor M3 128GB, Hitachi GST 7K3000 x2 & WD Black, ASUS DVD & LG Blu-ray Burners, Win7 Pro x64, CM 932 Case.
HTPC + Media Server: http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/permalink/5855/836221/ShowThread.aspx#836221