For those of you out there who want to know about an unusual configuration using the Pioneer 106 and results, here is what I can say about the Pioneer 106.
Dell Latitude Laptop running XP
Pioneer 106 running in a USB 2.0 external box (kit)
USB 2.0 PCMCIA card (the latest Dells are still using old USB hub!)
DVD2One + AnyDVD + CopytoDVD
Imation 4X DVD-R
Pioneer unbranded 4X DVD-R - (purchased from www.dvd-ronline.com)
Princo unbranded 4X DVD-R
Software - all software works fine in this hardware configuration - no noticable problems. Testing across wide spectrum of movie types indicates that AnyDVD/DVD2One/CopytoDVD combination is the quickest but lacks one-touch copying due to selection of burning hardware at burning stage.
If DVD is less than 4.38GB, I just use Nero "on the fly" copying with AnyDVD running. This takes about 14 min and I've had no issues using this method.
Using combination above, copy and burning of movie only takes about 28minutes. Using cloneDVD takes about 40min. Not much difference but adds up if you're doing several movies in a session.
Media - There is a big issue with the pioneer unbranded media. I purchased this media from Yung (his website is at www.dvd-ronline.com in New Zealand). Allegedly from Taiwan, I couldn't get these to work properly. He did refund my money for the coasters and remaining disks so I can't complain.
Imation and Princo burn fine but I have not fully tested these media in range of DVD players yet so I am reserving judgement on them. All movies tested work on laptop DVD player and the Pioneer 106.
UPDATE 15 Sep 2003: All movies burnt to Princo and Imation DVD-R discs work fine on Pioneer 344 and other "no-name" brand DVD players.
Movies backed-up include porn, art-house films and latest movies on both DVD5 and DVD9. Movies come from across all major regions.
[b][U]Conclusion[/U][/B] - Personally very happy with the Pioneer 106. I wouldn't use it for ripping as I have used the Dell's internal DVD player to rip movies and it does a reasonable job.
Quite surprised to see that the unusual hardware config I am using actually worked but it does and very well to boot. XP is a big help in this department. USB 2.0 slashes about 2 hours(!!) off ripping and burning times so I had to upgrade with the PCMCIA card.
Hope prospective Pioneer 106 buyers find the above useful.
Thanks to the moderators and users for keeping the site running -knowledge is power. That's Foucault right?