Drives committing suicide, maybe?
Best burners? I have heard Sony is the best? Any more opinions?
I think recent Sony drives are NEC/Optiarc. Older Sony drives
are usually rebadged Liteon.
ghetocowboy is right. You will get a lot of different answers to
your question. Most of the recent drives are pretty good.
Look at scans in the blank media forums and drive
reviews on CD Freaks before you buy.
FWIW, the Liteon LH-20A1P gives the best burn quality
of any of my drives on most media. The LG GSA-H22N
might be slightly better for some Ricoh/Ritek media.
Best drives these days are Pioneer DVR-112D.
In the old days, a Plextor cost about 200 euro in Romania, now a good drives costs about 30 euros.