I've not had a problem with the drive itself. My 105 died, and the 109 is the replacement. I hate the fact that Nero 5.5.10.x, Prassi PrimoDVD and Veritas/Stomp RecordNow Max 4.5 no longer work, but I guess I'll have to live with it.
On this 109, I'm using Nero 184.108.40.206 for DVD-Video burning (the template seems okay, but I'm still not 100% convinced its perfect like 5.5 was), and then I currently have the Sonic RecordNow 6.5 trial for duplication (although it has two speed choices: 1x and MAX). I may buy the $30 RNM7 here in a week.
Prassi ONES, Alcohol 120%, NTI CD/DVD 7, VSO Burnatonce and a couple other things I tried (mostly a blur at this point, after all the frustration) were total disappointments. One thing or another would not work, crashed programs, and a few of them even tried to rewrite drive letters. One even "misplaced" my DVD-ROM (device not found). I suggest avoiding those. I had hoped ONES would follow in the footsteps of PrimoDVD, but that was just wishful thinking.
PRODISCF01 (Fuji 8x, Taiwan) works perfect, nice scans, burns at 8x. MCC01RG20 media (PRODISC, bulk) also great at 4x, nice burns. MXLRG02 and TYG01 are fine, 4x media. It even properly saw old 1x media. All media is given 1x write option (should it be needed). The only thing it botched so far is MCC03RG20 (16 Verbatim) is seen as 4x discs.
This is DEJA VU for me, the 103 in 2001 and the 105 in 2003 were just like this. Firmware not perfected, media speed problems, and software not there yet (though some works). Just need to give it another 3-4 months to be perfected.
iroczioz, my guess would be you're not properly burning the discs. Use the DVD-Video templates in Nero. Or burn an untouched ISO in DVD Decrypter. Your IDE cables are no good either, use 80-pin cables (unless I'm missing some sort of motherboard limitation here). My Pioneer is in UDMA Mode 4. Your PC is also a bit slow for high-speed burns. May even be bad media.
OJ, if I burn a DVD-Video in Prassi ONES, my LG DVD-ROM will not see the disc. I have no idea what that is about. Prassi ONES crashes if I try to do any duplication. Nero 6.6 results in no such errors. I'm therefore thinking it's some sort of software support issue.