The IDE interface is not going to be included on many newer chipsets coming out. Intel in particular seems to be in a hurry to get rid of it. SATA doesn’t have problems with master/slave settings, the cables offer less clutter as you’ve noted, but there isn’t much beyond that as advantages.
Some older SATA controllers included on motherboards don’t work very well with SATA optical drives. That has been a common problem during the transition. Intel chipsets are very good in this regard. Via are terrible.
There aren’t any drives that can be singled out in specific as being better for backing up movies . Some drives [B]have [/B]built up a reputation around here as good writers though. The three I know of off the top of my head are no longer easily found…Samsung 203 series, NEC/Optiarc 7200 series, and Pioneer 215. They’ve all been replaced with drives that don’t seem to be quite as good just going by comments in the drive forums.
And every drive has strong and weak points. Lite-on make drives that are good for quality scanning, Pioneer has a rep for good burns on dual layer disks, etc. If you want a drive that can do a little bit of everything, get a Lite-on. If burn quality is paramount, you might want to look at Pioneer or Sony/Optiarc (that’ll get me a few comments from onlookers!). If you only feed the drive high quality disks and don’t care about scanning, an LG should be fine.
Many of us use multiple drives, each with specific purposes. For example, my main burner for dvds is a Pioneer 215L. My main burner for cds is a Samsung SH-S203B. I have a LG Blu Ray burner for burning blu ray disks. I use the Samsung as a scanner (mine happens to work well for this, not all 203B’s did) and I use it for ripping since it is much faster than the Pioneer.