I spoke with someone who works at Costco in the electronics department. I asked him about the quality of the 716A. His response was that the first batch they received was so bad that Costco returned the whole batch back to Plextor. The new batch with firmware 304 has been selling extremely well with very very few returns. He also stated that people just had to wait for firmware updates, but you know people they panic.
It would seem that the many problems I have been reading about the 716A have been looked at by Plextor. You will never get 100% but it seems like the worst part of Plextors problems are behind them.
I will be buyingthe premium soon and the 716A at Costco, you may pay a little more but you can't beat their return policy. No I don't work for them, just a longtime shopper.