If I Dump the original firmware, and re-flash it back into the 3540, how will anyone know I did anything? IOW, will the warranty be void if it has the original firmware re-flashed?
and you'll have to be more attentive with the writing speeds (if you're used to leave the "max" setting with Decrypter for example) as you could accidentally write your media at a higher speed than you would like to.
I am aware of the need to set the speed in Decrypter when I am burning to crappy media. Sometimes there are sales that are just too good to pass up even though I have to burn at a slower speed. My time is cheap.
About quality issues, I'm not sure what you mean.
If I rip a new video DVD, the speed is just as fast as the old Sony/LiteOn, namely around 15 minutes for a 7GB DL. The rip is with Decryptor. But if I rip an old video DVD - one with some surface wear but nothing serious - then the rip time doubles or more.
Er... personally I prefer my Pioneer 109 than my 3540A for ripping, it's faster, but it also needs the riplock removal (by crossflashing it with A09 firmware).
If I get a second unit I want one that is cheaper than a burner, so I suppose that would be a DVD-ROM. My question is what unit should I get that is cheap and will rip at high speed (15 minutes for DL)?
Once again I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Riplock is a feature that is implemented only for slowing down the ripping of commercial DVDs. Any other disc is ripped at max speed anyway...
Is Riplock a feature designed to maximize quality or is it just some politically correct nuisance that has no place on products produced in a free society?
What I am trying to assess is if I remove Riplock, will the quality of video DVD rips suffer?
I am willing to trade off speed for quality, but not to the extent of being ridiculous.