Well, you are right about the $10 shipping, but the bid price is still $39, so right now the total price would be $49, with one bid and 2 days + 4 hrs. to go. And there is also the 2-year warranty to take into account, and the fact that bitsetting is already enabled without the need to flash the firmware. Those were two attractive features for me, but I wanted a 3500A. You are also correct that you never know what the final bid will be until the last hour--or even the last minutes! But if someone wants an NEC 3520, I think it's a good auction to watch.
Don't be too hard on him about selling the NEC burner and keeping the Sony. It was his wife who bought him the Sony, and before I found this great forum, I intended to buy a Sony also! It didn't take long for me to change my mind after getting so much excellent information and advice here.
Are all of the Sony's just rebadged Lite-On's? How do you guys determine who the actual manufacturer is? I would never have guessed that a Mad Dog burner is an NEC in disguise. I read elsewhere that not all Mad Dog drives, e.g., their DVD-ROM's, are NEC's, but rather Artec, et al. How about the Mad Dog 8X Dominator? I haven't seen much comment about TDK burners, although I understand that they also are rebadged NEC's. Wes Novack wrote an excellent review on the Mad Dog 16XDVD9 model, and I think I would be extremely comfortable with that drive--if I could find it!
Thanks again for all the great help!