Ok, I’ve caved in and RMA’d today (not sure whether it was the whole weekend wiped out trying to get it to work, or whether creating as many TY coasters as the value of the drive did it).
When I rang up and got the I guess “typical?” response of “Have you tried different discs, Sir?” I was tempted to launch into PI/PO errors, quality scores, codecs, VOBs and the like, but refrained and gave a polite "I’ve been in consultation with the CD Freaks Forums but its still not working "(OK, I did quit before you guys!), I had “oooh, right then I’ll send you an RMA No.”
I just hope the replacement is OK (Else “I’ll be back!”). I’ll post in about a week and let you know.