It's probably time to think about replacing my two best DVD burners, an Optiarc AD-7200S and a Pioneer DVR-215D. My very best all-time drive was an NEC ND-3500A, but that's ancient history now as my new MOBO doesn't even have an IDE controller.
I've recently bought an Optiarc AD-7260S and an ASUS DRW-24B1ST, but these drives seem to be mediocre burners at best and I had to send the first DRW-24B1ST back for replacement because it had the worst noise and vibration of any drive I've ever had. The DRW-24B1ST came with firmware 1.04, which I think indicates a chipset manufacturer change by ASUS from FW 1.03.
I can still get a new Optiarc AD-7240S and/or a Pioneer DVR-216D. I've read that these were still quality drives with good chipsets in them, but of course they come with a premium price - roughly twice that of the newer generation of DVD-RW drives from NewEgg or Amazon.
I'd like some opinions on what were the last really good SATA drives from Optiarc and Pioneer. What were the last Optiarc and Pioneer models that used an NEC chipset?
BTW, my media of choice is usually Verbatim MCC-004 or occasionally CMC Mag AM3.