The 4167 is a very good burner :iagree:
Not sure about NEC, never owned one of their drives...as for the Pioneer, the 110(D) is an excellent drive, and from reports that I see, I think the Pioneer 111 could be the same, if not better.
The LiteOns I have tend to do very well with crappy or mediocre media, whereas the LGs like to be fed quality stuff. The LiteOns are also very good readers.
Sorry, I've been logged in, but at my friend's place for the last hour.
Edit: another alternative is to buy 4x media, and save your 8x stuff for when you do get a new burner.