Im doing quality test of my cdr media writen on my computer due firmware updates of my plextor 716A drive.
With 1.04 firmware the cdr quality is ok on nero and on k3b ( cdrecord front-end on linux ), but better on linux.
I use verbatim cdr pastel ( taiyo yuden media ) and the writing quality on nero is worst that linux one.
I burn at same speed and I do a lot of test and always happend the same, disk made on nero have all the look of picture 1 and the cdrecord one the look of the second one.
I upgrade and downgrade nero and stills happening the same, with powerrec on and off and with every kind of compilations ( videocd, data, music ).
On this link is the test with nero:
and on the image the k3b one.