Well I picked up an A09, as I had just bought an '08 about 3 weeks ago.
Initial impressions are not great: Picky with media, as most of my varied -R media that would burn at 12X (though 8x rated) on the 08, burn at 8X on the A-09. Also, read speed seems affected by web browsing and other tasks - I can do whatever I want with the A08 while reading / writing with no effect - this seems to be a major issue.
Also no improvements in anything else I can see (read speed, etc...)
here is a scan of an 8X burn on Verbatim 8X rated +R disc
CDspeed reports up to 12X on this blank, but burned the test at 8X I guess.
None of my 8X -R media show that it will burn at 12X, like the 08 will.