For anyone who's considering this LG drive, I have no complaints. I've only had it a week, but I've burned several audio and data CD-Rs (with Lightscribe), data DVD+Rs and a video DVD+R DL with absolutely no problems. It's quiet and fast.
Regarding burn quality, on 48X Fuji-branded Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs, Nero CD-DVD Speed reported zero C1 and C1 errors at max scan speed. (Two audio CD-Rs burned at 16X and 32X.)
The drive can't scan DVD errors, at least not in Nero. However, I backed up one of my movies using RipIt4Me/DVD Decrypter and ImgBurn to a Verbatim DVD+R DL at 2.4X. I always start at the lowest speed for the first burn to verify the drive/media can handle it and move up from there. It verified 100% and plays perfectly in my two DVD standalone players (bitset to DVD-ROM), including my increasingly picky Cyberhome cheapie in the bedroom.
Read and write speeds are good. I'm not sure if this drive is riplocked or not. When reading two different pressed DVDs with DVD Decrypter, it reported max speeds of 4X. I thought riplocked drives were limited to 2.4X.
I haven't done any -Rs, as I don't really have a need yet. So far, no need for any firmware update either, as it's handling everything I've thrown at it. I think the key is using good quality media, Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim in particular. I also tried a Fuji DVD+R that was a PRODISC R05 (001), and that worked well too. Again, I couldn't scan the burned DVD media, only CD, but it completed the burns without errors, verified okay, and is readable. As long as it stays that way, I'm good.
Compared to the Samsung SH-S182M, which was a nightmare, the LG has distinguished itself so far -- especially in a legacy system with low resources by today's standards (PIII 733/133, 384MB RAM, and 120W PSU with only a single strand for both HDD and burner power leads in series).
You know, I never liked Goldstar products in the 80's and 90's, far too cheap in quality. But in recent years, LG has really, really come through in quality for me at great prices. I have their cell phones, a new LCD monitor with zero dead pixels and great performance, and now the H42L. Whatever LG is doing, it's working, and they've all been at great prices. No relationship to the company, just a happy camper.