Yep, system is running at default now. 133*15. Replaced the IDE cable with a brand new one, same error in burnatonce. Nero 6.0.11 just plain crapped out on me. I'm going to the place I bought the writer from tomorrow, they've agreed to check the drive out, and if there's a problem, let me pay the small price differential between this drive and the 52327S and let me take the 52327S home, cos this drive is still in the 1 year warranty period.
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll let you know what happens tomorrow.
EDIT: Also tried Verbatim DLP 16X @ 16X, same error. Waiting for tomorrow.