Guys thanks for the input
cmisenko: I burn mostly +R media. The +R media that i have quite a bit stocked up is RICOHJPNR01, TYT02, and MCC004.
Xterminator: When you say you "anything over 4x was useless", do you mean the burns over 4X were of bad quality? I have had really good luck with my NEC3500 and Lite-On 832S burners in external enclosures, up until about 2 weeks ago. Back then, i was able to burn at 12X in my 3500 with excellent quality in my ext. enclosure.
I'm hoping that its just my Lite-On went bad, and is just giving inaccurate burn results because all my recent burns have played flawlessly in my standalone dvd player.