I'd go with an LG too. I have an older external LG that's still burning well after 4 years of pretty regular use.
That said, the Samsung SE-S084C I have (which is basically a USB powered laptop drive) has done pretty well since I got it, and is also a good reader to boot. I abused it pretty badly in the first month I had it, burning and reading disc after disc after disc.
EDIT: However, USB-powered drives may or may not work well for you - the aforementioned Samsung works beautifully on my two desktops, however.
For an all-round "safe" option, I'd go with a half-height drive with its own power supply.