I would put the hard drive in your machine, burn a bootable live Ubuntu Linux CD, and then boot from the CD and run the Disk Utility program that comes with Ubuntu. This will run the internal SMART self-tests which are a lot more thorough than what you get from Mac OS' Disk Utility. Here's an excellent page explaining how.
I'd be wary of a drive that seemed to fail once and then was reported OK by OS X Disk Utility. What you want to look for is failed reads and/or writes, which indicate the disk is failing physically. With what you know so far, you can't distinguish a hardware problem from a software one (i.e. the filesystem may have been corrupted and then repaired without any low-level failure on the disk, or a low-level failure may have precipitated filesystem problems). The SMART status as reported by Linux will give you the straight dope.