Reading the forums constantly the last few months i am more confused to say at least. I have a 2500 and i think it is time for an upgrade. My recorder does not support bitsetting and media scanning, two things that i want my new recorder to have. I am between Plextor716A, Liteon 1693S, Benq 1620 Pro or 1640 and Nec 3540 (the others don't support one of the features i mentioned above). NEC 3540 is cheap, supports 8x DL but lacks bitsetting with single layer +R media. This can be done only with a modified firmware (i had tried one with my NEC 2500 and i was getting "power calibration error"), so i don't trust modified firmwares much.) It also has the least support in official firmwares. For Liteon i read they are not as good as they used to be, especially the quality of the bernings. The same goes for Plextor, many have RMA'ed their drives 2 or maybe 3 times and you pay twice for a recorder that varies burning quality and has a "jitter problem" when writing cd's (I don't know exactly how this problem affects the quality of the burn.) As for Benq some have the best opinion for it, while some others the worst(QC problems, bad burns), it is a drive that you must be lucky to get a decent one. My final judgement is that although the cd burning problems have been solved (every cd media even the crap one gives good results) i can't say the same for DVD media. There a lt to be done from the DVD recorder manufacturers and especially from Plextor.