I have updated my "machine firmware" to 1098 right after it came out and have had only minor issues with disks. But, I have the older drive and did not have to do a "drive firmware" update. I would be more cautious about doing the drive firmware update than the machine firmware update. There is a large user base utilizing 1098 successfully. We do not know for certain the differences between the machines having the disk reading/finalization problems and the ones that don't. We do know that there are at least two or three drive models at play; some with firmware updates and some without. Based on this I would be careful about drive FW updates until some clarity emerges on this issue.
It is entirely possible that the drive FW has nothing to do with the problem. The truth is we don't know and Liteon has not provided any clear information. There are too many users though having the problem with varying media types to blame it on the user or the media.
That's my 2 cents worth and that's about all it's worth.