Thanks for the input.
My drive spins even if I don't have any programs running. It's not only when I'm burning a disk, even I pop in a CD to play a game. After I've exited the program, if I leave the disk in the drive it continues to spin for as long as the computer is on. And it's as loud as when it's burning a disk.
I called Sony and the "tech" support person told me not to worry as long as the drive was working, it's not a problem. And if the excessive spinning causes the drive to fail, they'd replace it within the warranty period.
They didn't understand that the problem is the darn thing is making way to much noise, even when I'm not using it. It doesn't make any noise when there's no disk in it.
I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing an obvious software or switch setting that would cause this. If I haven't missed anything, I'm going to take it back to BestBuy and get another one.