DVD-Ram is useful for backups etc. Less useful if you cannot read it in other machines, I suppose. I own one and just do backups of my work on it every 2nd day or so, but to be honest, as I dont have any other DVD-RAM capable drive and had not problems with data loss for quite a while now (and backuping via network as well), I dont really know if it is useful. Mainly I bought that DVD-RAM disc to test my LGs capabilities
For a laptop drive, I myself would look for low power consumption I guess, much more than for extremely fast writing speeds, at least if the drive is not in a bay you can take out when on the road / on battery. Weight may be a consideration as well.
The NEC may have better writing quality - but the LG is certainly good enough in that to produce readable discs for all device you want to use the disc in. I own an LG GSA-4163B (IDE internal for desktop) and have to say, I like it ... so why should a laptop writer be worse. A friend of mine has a NEC 3500 (also home PC) and it also works great. Guess there is not much wrong with either company.
I would also search for Toshiba laptop DVD writers, they at least 2 of them. They read DVD-RAM, so if you have an LG in your desktop, may be interesting. They are less expensive than the NEC IIRC. With a Toshiba drive, be sure it does not use a MediaTek chipset (dont know if they do, the TS-552B desktop writer does - and I hated it).
If you dont find any information about one of these devices being extremely bad, I think you can buy any one of them. Or maybe you find out an external case with USB 2 and Firewire interface and an ordinary desktop writer is what you want - i.e. the internal CD/DVD-ROM drive of your laptop works fine und do not plan to write DVDs in the field...