I haven't used it much, and have not taken a closer look. Sorry for that :o
Keep in mind that for example Pioneer drives are also very good when it comes to burn quality. Arachne really likes her Samsung.
I wouldn't class the consumer drives as extremely reliable but there are quite a few unreliable brands like BTC/Emprex (do they still exist?), and some drive models (my Litey just sucks with the LV4D firmware, but I don't want to miss all the nice stuff... where is LS0Z? :a).
But for 4., LG is indeed good too... even at 16x, they're not loud at all (if compared to LiteOn...)