Maybe this was your fault but I've had a PXW1610TA go south on me less than two years after I bought it and I hadn't even burned a stack of discs on it. When I contacted Plextor they were "Oh well, yeah it sounds bad but you'd be better off buying a new one", so I did. I bought I PlexWriter Premium which (knock on wood I haven't had problems with yet but it's not two years old yet either). I bought a PX-716SA and it lasted all of about 14 months and I know I didn't get 50 discs burned through that so at $117.99 divided by 50 disks, that's about about $2.36 a burn, what a deal. :a
Plextor just sucks. They used to be a high quality company but not anymore. You get no more warranty from them than any other company (including OEM drives). So you can buy 3 or 4 non-Plextor drives and still be ahead of the game. BOTTOM LINE: their drives go out prematurely so why pay a premium price just for a "has been" name?
No more Plextor for me or any purchases I can intercept at the institution that I work at.