I always go for the quietest Pete Jackson or Edelbrock dual idler gear set I can find, the one still in the box, owned by somebody else who will have the problems it will cause.
If I go gear drive, it is always a single idler, fixed to the block. Summers Bros, Milodon, etc.
Jackson, Edelbrock quiet is one with a small amount of backlash between the gearsets, noisy is one that is pre-worn out, loose and both are pure junk, plain and simple. I am sure the ones you are hearing are actually quiet ones, as they make lots of noise.
For street/mild strip use, do yourself a giant favor and use a good double row roller timing set, and stop believing all the racer and high-zoot ad hype.