There is no difference in scanning functionality between the 716A/SA and 716AL. Also in other functions the models are strictly identical except for slot/tray loading.
When it comes to burning the A/SA model seems to have profited from an additional two firmware updates. (1.02/AL came out around the same time and had the same changelog as 1.09/A/SA, there was no additional FW for the AL model whereas there were 1.10 and 1.11 for the A/SA models). However FW 1.09/A/SA was fine according to user reports here. Check out the scanning results thread. So if 1.02 really is identical to 1.09 burning should be very much OK.
Additionally to what [I]evo69[/I] wrote: Plextors report PIF over 1 Block whereas BenQs report PIF over 8 Blocks.