The replacement is 0202 (made in DEC 04). The old one was 0304 and made in FEB 05.
This is my first Plextor product. At this point, it's doubtful there will ever be a 2nd. After I bought this for $127, I decided I needed a burner that worked properly so I bought an NEC 3520 for $39. The NEC does everything I was hoping the Plextor would do, for 1/3 the price. Even if I end up with a working 716A, it won't be any better than the 3520A.
I bought a 100 stack of Optodisc (hub printable) 8X DVD-R for $33 shipped, that turned out to be TYG02. They recorded at 12X on the NEC. Was disappointed because I couldn't get another 100 at the same price, then I found the same thing in Legacy for $26 shipped, also TYG02, and of course they burn at 12X, too (same discs). I can't ask for any more than that. The difference in price between the 716 and 3520 would have paid for my Epson R200 DVD printer.
Here's what I honestly think:
First, I can't imagine that Plextor would intentionally send me a replacement burner that wouldn't pass the self diagnostic. It's not cost effective. I think it passed before they sent it to me. Also, it's hard to believe that their tech people are so incompetent that they're sending all these people replacement units that only partially work, and doing it 3 or 4 times with each customer. I think the units worked fine when they left Plextor. Now take into account the number of people whose replacement units worked fine for a week, or for 2 or 3 burns, and then quit. The real problem becomes apparent (and more hopeless). I think the 716A is just too fragile. Either the head alignment is too critical or prone to movement, or the electronic components are of such poor quality that they lose their values quickly. I believe these units are fixed and tested before they leave Plextor and they break on their way to the customer, or shortly thereafter. So, pretty much, we're doomed, unless we can get new units that work.