My top priorities are burn quality of both DVD and CD. This will be the only optical drive in the system, so it must also read discs reasonably well (doesn’t have to rip fast or anything, just read accurately. Handling scratched discs would be a bonus, but not necessary). Reliability would be up next.
Speed is not a factor at all. Low noise is more important. Must have booktype setting option (preferably something i can set once and forget it).
And then there’s the question of EIDE vs SATA. Either would work for me, but are there any advantages to one over the other?