That happens to me on a every once in a while. However, I always "fix" the issue by removing the drive, and reinserting it. I don't recall having ever needed to reformat a flash drive due to corruption, although that happened with a hard drive, once. Perhaps you just have a bad model? Or maybe a glitchy USB hub?
I do actually agree that optical disks can potentially complicate things. Finding burning software can be a pain, especially if you (like me) hate spending good money on overrated bloatware (cough cough Nero cough). I'll bet even the music and film industries will eventually abandon optical media for either flash storage, or magnetic disk storage, the former being the most likely.