Thanks, code(2^16). That's about what I was expecting to hear, but it's comforting to hear it from someone who knows as much about Lite-On drives as you.
I have, up to this date, had no problems with the drive/firmware, so I'm not strongly motivated to change anything with it. The only reason that I'm tempted to do so is that the drive is moving from a windows box--where its firmware can be easily manipulated--to a linux box where that isn't so.
All of my CD-R media is probably a few years old--I stocked up pretty well in the hey-day of discounted CD-R media. But, in the future, I may run through it and need to start using new discs--which may not be in the older firmware. So, to future proof the drive, I though that a new firmware may be wise. But, as you say, if it works, leave it alone. If it breaks, fix it then. It's not like it's brain surgery to move a drive from one machine to another--just tedious and boring.
FYI, the firmware in the drive is the only one publically available--if you look for the 52x24x52 verbatim firmware--which a quick web search didn't reveal, but I know I have here somewhere--there is only one known 'verbatim' firmware for this drive. Moving it over to the normal OEM firmware would be nice in the sense that I could then easily track the updates Lite-On provides.
Thanks again for your help, code(0x10000).