I read a lot but it is still not clear to me what is a better drive (available new) for DAE as of today March 2012: ad-7200s, ad-7261s, Lite-on Hias524, else?
the AD7200 is rather old, but a good CDDA ripper. I own a AD7200A, which is the P-ATA version of that drive. You could also go for AD-726x/526x and perhaps the 728x/528x series. No vote for Liteon drives. Their CD section is average at best.