My trusty NEC 1300A was starting to fail; both due to (over-/ab)use and the fact that it couldn’t really handle newer (8x+) media very well with it’s 4x maximum. It was showing increasingly high error rates, even though no fails to date. A great little burner that cut over 1500 DVDs for me.
Thanks to The Club (as I like to call it ) I decided to opt for a brandnew BenQ DW-1655 (toyed with a NEC 4550 and played with the idea of a 1640, but decided to go for the newer BenQ).
And what a difference it makes! Much cleaner burns, much faster, and all in all a very good buy.
Thanks to all the info everyone here always graciously shares, I was able to make a great purchase and not waste any money on crappy hardware. Cheers!