I was referring to drives that read and write well straight out of the box. I have only had one LiteOn branded drive that worked perfectly and that was my 451S. The only other good drive is my 1693S, which was hand picked and tested by Pulsee before being sent to me and it was the better one of two drives (the other did not read as well). I've had two LiteOn 1213S drives, the first would not write properly and the replacement is a bad reader. My 1653S is a terrible drive both writing and reading and my 165P6S is a poor reader. My Sony U18A is a perfect drive and the 2 Sony Q30As (one for a friend) are perfect drives and we'll see how my G120A works soon.
Your Sony drives that failed after 12 months were probably the OPU fault that both Sony and LiteOn suffered.
A long warranty is great (I've never had a LiteOn/Sony fail as such), as long as you don't mind paying the return freight trying to get a good one to start with.