NEC 3500 still king of the hill?

The NEC 3500 has always been considered as the best NEC drive ever made, but since it’s been a while this drive was widely available and since there have been numerous successors from NEC and now Optiarc I was wondering if the 3500 is still unbeaten as the best NEC burner.

For some older types of 8x DVD media, IMO this drive is still up there with the best. However, the Optiarc drives seem to be better on 16x media.

Yes the 3500 was a great drive, but now i think that the optiarc is the next best thing @18x, and most media give good results, better than my benq.