Well I have had an ILEOstomy since 2002 with one reversal that lasted 6 months. I am no different than I was before, well that is not true, I am more active now! I have a family, shop (for regular clothes), travel, go to college (second time around), work, excercise 5-6 times a week, ride horses, kayak occasionally and anything else I feel like doing...for me, it has given me my life back. My diagnosis is Crohn's and although I originally had small bowel problems, the last 10 years has been colon/rectal involvement.
Most people who know me have no idea I have an ostomy. Just like your stomach, an ostomy can make noise...it really isn't any different. As far as leaks go, I have never had one that couldn't be fixed with a change of product. Bodies change (and stomas, too) so sometimes you have to find a better fit...kinda like clothes!
Visit the Ostomy Forum...there are many helpful threads, especially the ones where members are trying to get all the info to make a decision. For me, I made mine before I found this wonderful site, but wouldn't have changed my outcome Good Luck!