An update on my burner situation.
I've continued to burn Benq 4X (DaxonAZ2) discs at work, with ok results. Most burns have been good, but recently I've also had some bad (throw-away) results. I became a little peeved, because my home burner produces such good results using the same media.
So I decided to upgrade my work burner to a 1653, because that model has some more recent firmware (CSOP). The upgrade was uneventful, but the results using the Benq media were awful! (even after 5-6 burns). In frustration, I decided to try a Verbatim 8X shiny top disc, which had produced better results previously. This time something must have clicked into place, because the results were almost perfect! First time I had results on my work computer comparable to my home burner! Finally, I am a happy camper.
I've attached a few scans below.
A scan of the last Benq burn from my work computer using the 1633 BSOS firmware (ignore the 1653 CSOP in the header - I scanned the disc after upgrading). Results not bad, but unfortunately I was not consistently getting results like this. Yes this scan was done with Nero, but the results are not significantly different from KProbe results (see scan 2).
Same disc scanned using Kprobe2.
A Benq scan from a disc burned on my home computer (still @ 1633 BSOS)
A Benq scan after switching to 1653 CSOP, about 5-6 burns after switching.
A Verbatim 8X shiny top burn using 1653 CSOP, after 5-6 burns. Curiously, the results seem to be better when burned at 8X than when burned at 4X, but I admit I have not burned many at 4X)
My conclusion: Each burner is an individual, and it doesn't matter what results anyone else gets using the same model. You have to try out different discs until you get ones that work well in your burner (and with your firmware!). Burn results seem to stabilize after 5-6 burns, but you can usually tell how things are going to end up after 1-2 burns.