I own both drives myself and with Liggy and Dee’s firmware I like my NEC drive, but I must admit I like the 1640 just as much if not more.
Now from a computer novices point of view which would be the wisest overall choice as an all around DVD drive. Including ripping and burning CD’s and both all formats of DVD’s? Keep in mind that overspeeding will never be used and it’s unlikely they will keep up with firmware revisions.
I did convince them to spend the money on quality media like TY so at least that part is taken care of.