LOL, funny that, I have a sony DRX-800UL (the external version of the dru-800) and I thought there was something wrong with it as it would not reach 16x burning, when its specs clearly stated it could. You know what they were telling me>? That it was burning at a lower speed because it knew the media was not suitable, meanwhile I was burning with 16x rated Verbatim media. Well because I am in europe, I would only have had to send it back to the e-tailer where i bought it, pixmania.co.uk, and get a replacement. I spoke to two different people, and both told me the same thing. The second person i spoke to said he'd look into it and phone me back, amazingly he did, and told me he hadnt encountered this before (after telling him what media i was using, after saying that i was using a laptop etc) and then he just expected me to be happy with 12x burns etc. It wasnt the fact that i dont even normally burn at 16x anyway, I just thought well, I paid twice the cost of a normal drive to have a prebuilt external, i want what is says on the box lol. Well i took it to a friends house to test and guess what? It burns at 16x fine lol.
Strangely enough, sony tech support know f-all, in fact they know less than most people here, the guy I spoke to was french, and maybe thats why he hadnt heard of the brand; Taiyo Yuden, or maybe my south african pronounciation is bad, who knows. As I say, just tell them its busted and 'yes you've tried that'to every suggestion they make, say you;ve tried loads of different media, you've tried it on different computers, heck make up stuff man. Oh, and make sure you get the name down of the person who dealt with you from the word go, as it will save you having to repeat yourself if you have to phone them back.
All this may sound a bit much, but what do you want? a busted drive and you having wasted your time?