The Optiarc drives, especially the 72xx series, are getting some good user reviews around here. So I’d say you are safe with this drive.
Might want to do a little Googling for a manual on the controller…beyond my experience I’m afraid.
What kind of dvds are you looking for? Printable? Dual layer? Plain old single layer? The two most recommended types around here are Verbatim 16x and Taiyo Yuden 8x +R. You can find them at rima.com or supermediastore.com Those are single layer dvds.
If you are buying dual layer, the only ones that we recommend are Verbatim.