I second this question.
I've been reading various threads and following links for a while now trying to make sense of all the info. Just when I think I've made up my mind I follow another thread and WHAM I'm undecided again.
I don't plan to burn or read anywhere near the maximum speed of the newer drives. I guess I'm old fashioned but I burn and read my games at 4x. I just want one that can handle the most newer protection schemes and can also function as a reader if I need it to. Once I trust it I may burn my data cds (the rar sets) at higher speeds.
What I'm getting from all of the reading is that just because elby.com rates a reader or burner as two sheep doesn't necessarily mean that it can handle all current levels of copy protection.
My primary focus is games but I do burn apps and music on occasion.
So far an Asus 40x seems to be the best choice but it is harder to find since it is now considered an older model. Next choice looks to be a Liteon 40x but there are some newer protections it has trouble reading and burning. The Liteon 52X is attractively priced but again there are some things it can't handle.
Burning is more important than reading because I dl most of the rar sets from the newsgroups - I just need to be able to burn it (assuming the imager did a proper job).
PIII - 500
Windows 98 Second Edition
384 MB RAM (obviously can be bumped)
An old TEAC CD-ROM
My burner seems to have died (that's another thread)