The experience you have with burning MCC 02RG20 at 2x on the NEC 3540 matches exactly what I experienced on my NEC 3500:
PIE max > 1100 , PIE total > 13 million , PIF max = 48, PIF total > 690.000
Read Transfer fails 0.6GB into the disc. A total coaster if I ever saw one! :Z
Yet the same media in the same spindle burned at 6x, 8x or 12x in the same drive provide the bests burns ever, unmatched by any media I have tried on the NEC and only barely matched on my Plextor PX-712A (but with different media).
So you can blame the firmware for having totally unusable writing strategy for 2x burning, but don't blame the drive or the media based solely on your burning experience at 2x with 8x media!!!
Thou shall not burn 8x or 16x media below 4x on a NEC 3540 drive.