LG is a wise choice.
Samsung/pioneer/optiarc are generally quieter, the noise is like a hiss. you can feel that something is rotating awfully fast but it is stable unlike lg / lite-on drives, both of them have terrible load balancing bearing assemblies. The noise feels more rumble prone and the lite-on based drives have been suffering from serious vibration issues after sony switched to samsung which varies from drive to drive. My dell system uses braces instead of screws and the vibration is terrible at mid rpm when the drives slows down for seeking. as far as burn quality goes, In my experience the quality scans don't tell a lot about the burn quality. My samsung's scans aren't excellent but every reader generates a smooth transfer rate curve. However, my 20X lite-on generates excellent cd speed scans but the transfer curves are often subjected to dips towards the end in every reader except panasonic drives (SW-9587S) Excellent readers BTW.
I generally use cheap media, mainly cmc for +r's and sony for -r's and I generally get same quality burns from any recorder from the last two years.
That said, verbatim/Tayo Yuden media burnt with a Plextor PX-740/ Samsung SH-S182D yields perfect cdspeed scans. If I had to burn a lot of discs I would probably go with the 24X optiarc drive and if you want to read discs with a lot of scratches, just buy LG the error correction on those drives is amazing, discs that my other drives speed down and barely read, the lg drives don't even dip in transfer rate.