For the issue of bundled software, Plextor America bundles with Roxio, it's longtime partner. Plextor Europe is a separate business unit, and bundles with Nero, the leader in the EU. I asked tech support one time about the logo on the tray. They said that the US sells to a lot of vendors like system integrators that don't want the logo, so they don't put them on any drives.
As far as CDs, it is picky, but if you find a brand that burns well, stick with it. That's a given for any writer.