I second this... I just used some needle nose pliers for mine... it didn't scratch them at all and worked perfectly!... I just couldn't wait to install a new 128gb ssd and take out the stock 250gb in my 13" 2.53. It's much, much faster now BTW.You can also get by using a pair of pliers to remove those and reinstall them on the new drive. Thats what I used, but the #00 phillips is the important tool as not to strip the screws on the bottom plate.
I take it back it's actually not much louder at all.It does seem apple does a decent job putting in decent drives in terms of how loud they are and long time reliability.
It seems hard to replicate that when you buy one yourself. I wonder what is the best way to know if you're getting a drive just as quiet?
After a while though, I'm sure we wouldn't think anything of it, but still might be nice to know how to better research.