The Tosh is a very good reader, which is why it probably doesn't authenticate the backup. There are many posts here that say that the only drives that authenticate the backup are the more forgiving readers.
The Asus burn quality is not as good as other drives out there, that has been seen many times, however it is also one of the most reliable SD writers out there. Many Lite-Ons are hit and miss - like the Plex Premium - but all Asus drives so far are OK.
I don't understand how the plex can start the backup without any ATIP hiding app present either - sorry
On the CloneCD/Fireburner method, I used a profile from the pinned topic in the CloneCD Forum - SafeDisk 2.51 [No AWS]. Check first that Fast Error Skip is set to Auto [yes it makes a difference], then check the 'Create Cue Sheet' option when you select the image target and name.
Burning with FireBurner is a pice of cake, 'load tracks from cue sheet' from the file menu, select the CloneCD created .cue file and don't forget to go into the config and make sure that the Asus is the selected recorder and that DAO+16 or DAO+96 write configuration is selected before burning.
The Asus is not directly supported by FireBurner, so you can choose only 1x or Max. I would advise 1x - which for the Asus means 4x as that is the lowest burning speed supported - but then the DJ demo only burned at 4x too.
Good Luck, both worked for me as you have already read, but I suffered a degree of failure too. Don't ask me why the CD-RW is more reliable than the CD-R but for me it was.