The main driving factor behind SATA is COST. SATA II HDD’s are cheaper than PATA HDD’s now. SATA ODD’s are still a little more expensive than PATA ODD’s. As simple as that.
By the time SATA DVD writers and SATA Blu-ray and HD DVD writers begin to overwhelm the retail market around the world, incompatibility and other issues will mostly have gone. Future Intel motherboard chipsets are going to do without PATA and so PATA ODD’s will be gone completely in a few years, perhaps by 2009 or 2010, in most retail shelves.
For now, SATA DVD writers are not more compatible, not cheaper, not smaller, not faster, and so on, than PATA DVD writers. Wait for those with good compatibility, slim and short, lower-priced (around US$20 or lower), etc.
Again, the largest ODD manufacturers do not want to produce that many SATA DVD writers because of one reason: COST. It costs too much for them to change the lines from PATA to SATA without good reasons. If it costs for them US$10 per drive to produce each SATA DVD writer, they’ll switch to SATA whether end users complain or not.