I can't recommend the newer 116/216 series since they're a step back in quality from the previous model (115/215). You could see how much I like them if you check out my sig.
LiteOns have a lot of non-official firmwares, but they are just decent DVD burners and write badly to CDs - the newer LiteOns are even bad at DL DVDs (specifically the iHAP/iHAS120/220 series). They are very good at ripping though. Most of the good drives were of the generation before the newer crop of drives (Optiarc 7200, Samsung SH-S203, Pioneer DVR-115/215). There's hope however that the new 24x drives will not be only fast, but good writers also. This would be so if the drives have an NEC chip (which many associate with quality results) rather than using the cheaper MediaTek.
Waiting for reviews is a safe option. If you're in a hurry check out your local retailer and share with us the available drives - we could help pick one out.