How to determine which DVD burner?

How do you guys go about finding out which dvd burner will work best with a given laptop or find out which burner will burn dvd’s on your laptop which would play on anything?

Read all the thread related to burners (Lite-ON, BenQ, NEC, Aopen,…) and then try to choose the one that suit you the best.

I have chosen the NEC ND6100

but don’t wish to run into the same problem I had a while back, meaning I ordered a laptop DVD burner and when it came and I fitted it into the laptop, there a space between the burner’s cover and the slot of the laptop, the outside cover plate of that burner was slimmer than the original Toshiba drive, how can I make sure that this NEC will be an exact fit for the laptop I will be purchasing which I think will be either an Evo N610C or HP NC6000?