This news really doesn't come as a surprise, although it still is a real pity. Plextor gaves us quite a few true innovations and excellent drives in all these years, especially some legendary CD burners (Plextor Premium) and readers (old SCSI readers that still can read most copy protected audio CDs). Plextor never really managed to regain their outstanding position with their DVD burners, as the competition got better while their products got worse, making it harder even for the most loyal Plextor fans to justify the steep prices.
After BenQ, the industry loses another innovative company, so it is sad news for all of us enthusiasts. I really hope that my Plextor Premium won't die on my anytime soon (I still use it for most of my CD burns), there simply is no drive of similar quality on the market anymore.
R.I.P. Plextor and BenQ.