hey eb i have the Memorex drive that you listed first
I paid about 70 bucks for it @ best buy so 45 is a pretty good deal
I have had problems with it wanting to operate in PIO mode only, but I think that was mostly related to IDE drivers....fixed now->i used the default win xp drivers and they work fine.
The drive is great for me so far(other than the temp. ide probs). I use the nero software that comes w/ the drive and am able to burn most media @ 48x (700mb in under 3mins!!) i would recommend this drive... cant say about the others...
hope this helps
ps - havent tried playing dvds yet but it should be ok