I’m looking for a new burner too, I had problems with write quality with my NEC 7170S, but if it’s true what Dee-27 says, I’ll consider NEC again.
I have made a couple of scans with my NEC 4550 with Nero DiscSpeed, currently the only one capable of scanning:
7170S Verbatim MCC004 burned at 16x
Plextor PX-810SA (was overpriced, didn’t knew it was a rebadged Pioneer DVR-212 at that time) Verbatim MCC004 burned at 16x
I think Plextor write quality is very good, actually that scan above is my best one, I compared it to NEC 3500/4550 and LG GSA-H50N and they were all worse. But I want to replace it, because it makes such loud seek noise, it’s unbearable.
So I’m looking at SAMSUNG S203D and Optiarc 7203S. I just want a good, quiet and cheap burner, I hope I’m not asking for too much. Actually the price doesn’t matter, but I sure ain’t buying another of these rebadged Plextors.