Most of the problems we see with SATA optical drives is due to poor SATA controllers on the motherboards or flaky drivers. The Intel chipset boards seem to have the fewest problems with their SATA controllers.
Nowdays, many of the Intel chipsets don't have an IDE controller built-in, so the IDE/PATA controllers are add ins, put on by the motherboard makers, and some of those can cause headaches. JMicron springs to mind on that.
So the problems lie in the interfaces on the motherboards for the most part when they do occur or in poor drivers, not in the optical drives themselves.