Thanks for the reply! I've done ok with cd-r's and rw's in terms of holding up to daily use and abuse. I've been using whatever was cheapest with a "brand name" at the local store (compusa house marked, verbatim, sony, imation, etc).
DVD media on the other hand, seems really delicate. Even the +rw supplied with my drive (also a ricoh) has developed read errors after just a little bit of handling. (eg: stacking them on top of each other before getting around the next day, to putting them back into their cases) Dropping one on the floor seems like a death sentence.
Does this seem normal? I'm wondering if there is a problem with my liteon 451 drive or the media.
Once I save up some dough, I'll try to give the dvd media from the companies you've mentioned a shot.