Noobie servo questions:
I haven't worked with servos before and I'm wondering what sort of backlash one can expect with them. I also haven't priced/sourced them yet - so are cheap ones likely to suffer from more backlash or is servo gearing overall generally tight?
Also noise - when I have seen servo projects, they tended to have pretty loud gearing/motor noise (say compared to non-servo gearhead DC motors) Is that just a characteristic of all servos or just low(er) end?
Most hobby servos have pretty low backlash, I don't think you will have a problem with that. As far as noise, several have asked that recently and it's pretty much hit and miss depending on specific servo model used. As it's not a published spec on any servo I recall all I can recommend is you ask around on a R/C forum for peoples experience and recommendation for the quiet servos. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/index.php
I've seen servos from around $8 to $200 dollares, so quality and capablities have a wide range. The better brand name servos offer specifications that can help is choosing. http://www.hitecrcd.com/products/analog/index.html