My opinion only, the plex and other high priced drives are not worth the money, but onwers of those drives may be able to tell you about thier capabilities and they may matter to you. Personally, the 60$ drives (right now),give or take, benq, nec, lg (I know absolutlly nothing about the lg's but they are mentioned so often and well reguarded, I include them, you can get a benq 1620 for 50$ with al kinds of shit (like free media)
I'm not saying that is the best drive, I'm saying, check it out, make a decision, and if you want a benQ, the link I gave is a hell of a deal (that may be gone tomorow, seriouslly, or it may be cheaper, or more expensive).
I have to edit this because you are a newbie, and I may be to quick to give advice. The last two computers I have built for friends, have included benq 1620 drives and both have performed well. The benq drives do have a reputation for high defective rates, doa drives, or drives that die too early. Including that risk, both of the friends I built computers for, have 1620's that perform great. Thier has been some info on the forums, that it is only oem drives that have problems? Understand that risk.
edit again, trying to respond to and write more than one thread that involved the 1620.
I would check out the nec 3540. Thier is a cdfreaks review on it (havent had time to check it out, been way to busy). Defanatly check out nec, benq, and lg. My info is dated by a few months but look a those drives. the 1620 is a good drive and its a great deal, but thier may be beter for 80$ or under. The 1620 is best for the money as it is a great deal now (45$ with all the4 extras is mega chaeap).