one of my DVD writers died a violent death yesterday (due to not f*ing working for the one-time-too-many'th time, being incapable of mounting an ordinary, pressed DVD-ROM and hosing two CD-Rs in one evening), and I'm looking for a replacement. I'd like to have a SATA-driven device, capable of writing to and reading from CD and DVD-media (including DVD-RAM). What I really want is reliability - I want a drive that is best-of-class in reading discs of all kinds and conditions, no matter what sinister copy protection scheme tries to keep me from the data I purchased or how gruesome the condition of the disk to be read is - I want it read, period.
Same goes for writing - I don't need insane speeds, but I'd like a drive that doesn't toast my media to crap. I want the disks written to just effin' work, anywhere.
I'd beh appy if the drive's firmware would prefer working silently over working at ridiculously high rounds per minute, that's not a priority though (hdparm could take care of that at the end of the day).
What can you recommend, and what emperical data do you have to back up your recommendation?