I’m currently using an external Sony DRX-810UL drive and I have been very happy with it (no complaints except that it will not read a -R that it has burned, so I have to stick with +R media, but I can live with that). I had previously spent a lot of time trying to work with a Plextor 708UF, which eventually quit burning CDs (although it would still burn DVDs).
I’m spec’ing out a new PC (I’ll be running XP, if it matters, and I use Nero 22.214.171.124) and am planning to include an internal DVD-RW. I would like DL (maybe they are all DL capable these days?), although I’ve never used it, but don’t need LightScribe (which I assume is the thing that lets you burn artwork onto the disk).
Reliability is the most important consideration. A drive like likes all kinds of media is nice. The Sony will burn anything. (FWIW, I use Maxell MIJ CDs and for DVDs, either Verbatim +R or what’s left of my precious stock of Sony and Maxell MIJs.) A drive that will give me nice good burns every (or almost every) time.
TIA for any suggestions.