I should define “Joe Blow”. Joe (and Jane) Blow only cares about it just working… with whatever media is thrown at it, read or write, without making abnormal noises (or being especially loud). They don’t generally care about Lightscribe, and they certainly have no interest in free software that allows them to scan for C1 errors.
I personally use Plextor in my machines, and have a 755SA loose for OS installs and when disks plain just won’t read right in other drives, but when I’m building a system for a client, I just need a drive that fits Joe Blow’s needs.
I used to use Samsung, but I had a number of them die on me a year later in client’s machines, so then I went to Asus, but the easy-to-use CDBurnerXP seems to have hit’n’miss compatility with the Asus drives (I’ve never had a client that liked my runner-up, Imgburn…GUI too geek-speak and feature-heavy).
Any suggestions? Here’s what my local store stocks: