The choice of Blu-Ray writers these days is limited - there’s LG, Pioneer or a slim-type Samsung. Other makes will be rebadging these drives. People seem to like the Pioneers more than the current LGs. The Samsung SE-506 is the only current Blu-Ray writer which can scan discs, but the latest ‘C’ version has issues writing at certain speeds.
But there are other members who can give a better recommendation than me.
It’s a similar story with DVD writers, people do not regard any of the current dives to be as good as their predecessors.
For extracting audio from damaged CDs, I find Mediatek-based Samsung & Lite-On DVD writers very good (although I haven’t used their latest drives). For writing CDs previous Samsungs were much better than Lite-On drives, and the same is probably true of their current drives. Both should support C2 pointers & no audio caching (earlier Lite-Ons did cache, but also supported FUA).
For writing DVDs the Lite-On probably has the edge over the Samsung, but the difference is probably quite small. Avoid the ‘W’ & ‘X’ versions of the Lite-On.
I don’t know much about the current LG & Pioneer DVD writers. LG drives have been very hit & miss for some time, and the much loved Pioneers of old were discontinued about 5 years ago. Since then the drives have again been rather hit & miss.
For a decent all-round drive the Lite-On iHBS Blu-Ray writers were a good choice. They were discontinued a while ago, but they are a few new ones around if you look hard enough (in the UK, Â£97 from amazon Marketplace). You may also be able to find a Teac rebadged-iHBS. Finding an external one will be hard. They were excellent at writing CDs. For DVDs & Blu-Ray they were OK - not the best, but good enough and far from the worst. But there will be no more firmware updates.
If you can find a new (discontinued) Optiarc DVD writer, they were good drives (the last was the AD-5280S).
Most drive models have a dedicated thread for results & discussion, so you can browse other peoples results.
Once again, me experience of the latest drives is almost non-existent. There are other members more qualifed to give a recommenation.