We had this type of discussion following a news article about the new Plextor 712 DVD Writer. Plextor drives are just plain overpriced, excellent drives, but overpriced. You're best bet is to buy something like the NEC 2500 and make sure you use media it likes with it. Arita DVD+-Rs work well (although quality can vary disc batch to disc batch). The +Rs allow 6x recording with firmware 1.06. I've seen the NEC 2500 for as little as Â£65 inc. VAT so why pay double for something that's only going to do the same job? And it won't do it any better as long as the right discs are used with the NEC drive (or any other drive for that matter). The only thing the Plextor will do better than the NEC is backup copy protected CDs. If this is requirement have a look at the Lite-ON 851S or newer 812S. Alternatively buy the NEC with a Lite-ON 52x CD-R drive.
Prices as of NEC 2500A drives as of 12/03/04...
All prices inc. VAT but exclude carriage.
2 x NEC ND-1100A DVD Writers
1 x NEC ND-2500A DVD Writer
1 x Lite-ON LDW-851S DVD Writer
1 x Lite-ON LTR-40125W CD ReWriter
1 x Lite-ON LTR-52327S CD ReWriter
1 x Pioneer 106S DVD-ROM
1 x Pioneer 120S DVD-ROM
2 x Lite-ON (JLMS) LTD-166S DVD-ROMS
All scattered throughout four Athlon XP machines...