Well, the original question wasn't centered on I absolutely need an MIJ unit but whether an MIC unit would have acceptable QC when compared against the same model MIJ unit. I fail to see how, "if you want an MIJ unit then buy one in Japan", has any relevance.
I do believe the Japanese have been practicing quality much longer than most and in particular the Chinese. That's why I was more interested in MIJ than MIC. That said, Nekrosoft13 has an MIC BDR-205 and hasn't had any issues with it and likes the drive (at least as far as I can tell). So, I am now looking at MIC units with a little less apprehension.
I think I will pop for the BDR-206 from Amazon since they have a low price on it.