By “data extraction,” I assume they mean trying to get the data off a dead drive, as that’s the only time it could be harder than any other drive. It it true that, due to wear leveling, the data on a drive is spread out. But the map for that should be stored somewhere nonvolatile, similar to a hard drive’s file allocation table. So I’m not sure how much worse it actually is on a practical level.
Plus, really, you shouldn’t need it to get to that point. Backup your data! Then you don’t need to get data off a dead drive. I continue to recommend Backblaze, as it’s only $6 a month per computer for unlimited data backup. You can access your data online. And they even have a program where you essentially pay a deposit for them to send you a disk drive. You can either keep it and be out the money, or return it after you get all the data off for a full refund. They also have great rates for just storing the data there.
As for the rest, you have it about right. SSDs do still cost more, but it’s more like twice as much per megabyte now, and the benefits, especially on anything portable, are great. They’re faster, lighter, more physically durable (so they can take more baning), and last long enough that they’re unlikely to fail any faster than an hard drive would
It’s possible that you need a large amount of data, where SSDs do start getting pricy. If that’s the case, I recommend getting a second hard drive on a desktop, and a lower speed, higher capacity SD card for a laptop. But, honestly, if you were using a laptop before and it held all you needed, you probably won’t need those.
The only real caveat I’d look out for is the warranty and DWPD or TBW ratings, which are how long the drive can last. Some cheap drives do skimp on these numbers. But they don’t have to be all that high. DWPD is the number of times you can completely overwrite the entire drive per day, for the duration of the warranty period. TBW is total number of terabytes you can write. Stay away from unreasonably low numbers like 2 DWPD or 150 TBW and get as long a warranty as you can get—or at least as long as you don’t plan on replacing your drive/computer.
Finally, I will say this: when you talked about getting a new laptop, I had always assumed you’d get one with an SSD. Heck, if you’d just decided to replace that failing hard drive, I was going to tell you to get an SSD instead.