By quality scans I mean being able to use Nero CD-DVD Speed or Kprobe software.
Even though this software doesn't come close to matching the ability of multi-thousand dollar equipment, it does give you the ability to do transfer tests, and quality scans for comparision purposes.
By comparison I mean, I have one burner, I test 2 types / manufactures of disks. One produces better results than the other on my burner. Therefore I'm more inclined to use media from a specific manufacturer because my / your burner prefers this type of disk.
It get more complicated because your firmware also influences the scans. But the bottom line is that some DVD burners (BenQ, Lite-On) are better scanners than others.
In General IMO:
BenQ are no longer made, but highly regarded as a good burner and quality scanner.
Lite-On's (Sony) are consider as good burners, the best rippers because they can deal with scratches etc. and very good quality scanners because of availible software.
Plextor's are consider excellent burners and scanners, but overpriced for what you get.
LG are considered the best quality writers, but have limited ability to do quality scans.
NEC's and Pioneers are also considered good in everything, but I'm not aware of any of their current strengths (NEC 3500 was considered the best writer of it's time).
All I have said above is generalities. suggest you go to the Optical Drive sub forum and do some reading.
This can be confusing, but the bottom line is that they are all good, but some are better than others in specific functions.
And if that isn't confusing enough, then go to the blank media forum and start reading about how different media can make more of an impact on your burn quality than the drive you have.
I suggest you go to newegg.com and see what's on sale.
Sony's and Lite-On are the same DVD writer and you can't go wrong with a Lite-On drive.
I have also read very good things about the new Samsung 182M
LG is also considered very good.
IMO I don't see the value in Light-Scribe drives, you are better off using inkjet printable disks.
In Summary if you have good media (TY, Verbatim) then there will be very little difference in the above drives. If you are using questionable media, then you might start seeing differences.