I used to be annoyed at NEC for their refusal to support any US drives because they were all sold as OEM. They never even had any US firmware. I eventually got over it and found that their 3500 was the best burner I had ever seen and it still is.
As odd as their concept of customer service is it is really no more obtuse than many other burner companies that still have no bitsetting, annoying riplocks, and a general lack of scanning support. Part of what makes these challenges so interesting is that there is always someone out there who will "fix" the bugs. And we get to be the few insiders that know how to make these things work in ways that the average consumer cannot.
There is still a rush when I get around anything that big brother says I shouldn't do. Even if I don't do the hacking, I know where to go to find it. Makes life worth living.