I have now been in contact with the retalier I got my drive from, and I have also sent them a mail linking to this post.
As I understood it, they have now forwarded the mail to their wholesaler, who in return have contacted NEC about the matter.
I have chosen not to return the drive outright, because these sort of things tend to take a long, long, time.
It usually does so here in Norway, in my experience.
I have become rather dependant on this drive, and I am reluctant to return it until I have received an estimate on how long time I need to manage without it.
But who knows, maybe it is a known issue and they get the go-ahead from NEC to simply exhange it for a new - but I fear I may be in for a lengthy wait.
I just hope that by documenting my problem in this manner and including images of the end results will expedite matters.
Anyway, thanks to all your replies, I am now however confident that there really IS something very wrong with the drive!