GSA-2164 dead?


I have a LG GSA-2164 external burner for about 1.5 years. I don’t use it that much but since the beginning I noticed it was quit sensitive to media quality. I ended up using VERBATIM DVD+R media which gave me good results. But, since a couple of months I started having problems, making more and more coasters up to the point of almost being now unable to complete a burning.
The media I have been using are VERBATIM 16x DVD+R (MCC 004). They came from 3 different 25p cake boxes I bought together. When trying to burn, I usually get an error just after the lead-in is completed (tried with NERO and ImgBurn). Sometimes the track burning starts but at some point the LED stops blinking and the burner seems to freeze. If I wait long enough (several minutes), Nero gives me a “No seek complete” error message.
My first though was that I had a bad batch of media (sometimes they are only recognized as 4x by the burner) so I bought new ones, VERBATIM again but DVD-R instead (TYG03). The burner doesn’t even detects them.
So, I assume my LG burner is dead but would like a confirmation on that before I go and buy a new one. If that’s a case I would appreciate if someone could recommended me a cheap, good quality external burner.