Not sure where you get your Plextor information, probably from Plextor.
DVD burners are disposable. At $30-40 US, who cares how long it lasts? LG and NEC probably have the best record for reliability and initial quality. Now days, it seems that more than the life of the drive, it's a matter of getting a good one in the first place. All makers sell a certain percentage of lemons. The 2 above brands seem to do the best in that regard. Note that Pioneer burners are much the same as NEC.