This is not a hype.
There are only 2 manufacturers left in the BD-writer-business, Pioneer and LG. In my experience the Pioneer is the better choice than the LG, and I own both drives.
I know the 208 was a bit better, but it´s EOL. I had also some better results with the BH16NS40 than with the BH16NS55, but 16NS40 is also EOL.
You can find lots of scans with 209-burned media from Vogelschreck , myself and some other users here which show the 209-burn-quality