The forum is good, sometimes they just don't have the answers.
If your problem is when you're trying to burn at 8x, then take it down to 4x. It will still burn in 15 minutes. Better then your 28min right now.
I have found with experience that with laptops you are a LOT more limited in capabilities with burning. If you can have a normal PC, that's the way to go. I would if I could, but I need a laptop for at work and am not going to waste the money on a normal PC also. Burning at 4x is really okay for me anyway. What really pisses me off about this machine is for some reason it drops out sometimes when transfering data (which is what I thought might be the burst rate problem). And for whatever reason it can't do on the fly copying with dvd-r discs. I've been thinking for sometime to take this machine to a computer tech to be looked at.