Punky, what tools are you using to read the OCZ Vertex temps? I can't get HDTune to get a read on mine.
Anyways, here's my past experience:
Climate: Sprint/Summer North Carolina
Hottest Day: 90F
WD Scorpio Black 320GB 7200RPM mounted in the trunk
Max Temp: +59C
Min Temp: Did not use in winter
I replaced this drive because I did not wish to let it exceed Western Digitals max operational temperature for this drive of 60C. Anything above 50C would show a dramatic drop in performance on my PC as well. I replaced it with the same OCZ Vertex 32GB as Punky, but do not know the operational temperatures. I moved the WD to my laptop as a data drive, and it is operating as good as new. The OCZ is super fast. Quick boot times, fast image texture loading on my mapping software too.