Would you believe this was a new pressed disc? It is only a few weeks old, and is an educational course with movies that spins at full load for hours at a time. Very inferior quality.
Interestingly, of my cdrw collection, only one would burn it. I tried the following drives all with the latest firmware:
I/O Magic 16x DVD-ROM
None could extract the image due to the crack. The only drive that could read the damaged disc (drum roll please) was the LiteOn 52246S drive. I will say this may be the first time that the Plextor has choked on a disc, it's ussually the most reliable reader, but obviously I'll have to rethink that opinion.