SATA vs PATA doesn't much matter in performance. The problems sometimes come from the controllers on the motherboard. Some early SATA controllers don't work well with SATA optical drives. If you have a modern board with an Intel chipset, that is probably the best bet for SATA optical drives.
And many modern chipsets have done away with PATA interface connections entirely. Those we see nowadays are often added on afterwards by the motherboard manufacturer. So the future is definitely going SATA.
By the way, Plextor is no longer making their own drives. What you see sold under their brand are rebadged drives from other manufacturers, like Lite-on. I would no longer consider them a premium brand for optical drives, and that has been true for some time now.
If you want a very good performing SATA drive, look at the Sony Optiarc 7240s.