The only reason to go 2510 over 2500, or flash a 2500 is if you are doing Dual Layer. The 2500/2510 is a great burner, and they are almost identical in hardware. They have the best burning quality you can get for under $100 and work well with most any DVDs. The only short fall of they is they have poor read quality, that is they don’t rip a disk that well. So if your going to be copying alot of DVDs make sure you have a seperate DVD-ROM drive to rip the disks with.
Your other option for under $100 would be a Liteon 812s/832s same type of setup on the hardware as the 2500/2510. The 832 does DL out of the box the 812 can be flashed to do it. These two have a little less in the burn department but they do reads very well, so its a trade off. The liteon also have much beter firmware support from the factory, NEC puts out a new firmware about once a year.
So its a mater of what your going to do wit it. If your a tech head and are down loading games/movies to burn and like messing around with hacked frimwares and tweaking your hardware the 2500/2510 is right up your ally. If your a standard gets on the computer on the weeked to mess around user. Your just going to copy some DVD from your friends, and get worried about flashing firmware and tweaking hardware. Then the 812/832 is you cup of tea.
Use the “search” feature for these boards, there must be a couple 100 comments and reviews on all 4 of these drives. Just read and find the one that fits in your life the best.
Prices in US as of 7/9/04: www.newegg.com
2500a = $68
2510a = $83
812s = $71
832s = $98