Hey there, yeah I know the feeling of wanting to get to the best media. I have used the Maxell's made in China - It is a brand name you can trust. My batch had the Ritek F1 dye, which has very good compatability and longtivity. It certainly isin't archival grade media, but it is very good as a brand.
Verbatims are very good also, almost like Jesus compared to the God of optical media - Taito Yuden. Bare in mind although brand names can influence what people buy, buy optical media on the media code - i.e. Who made it.
Never EVER trust a brand that outsources their media. I did with a pack of Memorex CD-Rs because they were going cheap, and I got lucky that I got a a pack of Moser Boer's. Avoid brands like Memorex, Bulkpaq (Don't even get me started! :a ) and Rivision. Because they are, apparently, landfill media, the sort of media that is doomed in a month.
The best way to find out is to ask on this forum about what media is what, but as a rule of thumb, fork out more for more expensive brands like Verbatim, and you won't go far wrong, and your data can be relied on these discs. My recommendations are Taito Yuden, and Verbatim.