Is it possible for anyone here to state the statistics of Plextor drive failures and the breakdown reasons for any the RMA'ed drives? If so, please list the data. Baring any leak of this proprietary Plextor data, for which I am sure they guard against airing in public, all of the accounts and conjectures are based on anecdote and/or assumption, both the the wicked stepsisters of (Cinderella) science.
This forum typically serves three purposes - to inform, to advise, and to complain about Plextor products. Just like newspapers and tv news programs, bad news sells, and bad news captures attention more than good news. I have been a party to all three components that this forum provides.
My own personal ups and downs with Plextor are documented here, and it's the bad that gets the most attention. Nonetheless, when my 716A was working, it performed admirably and I was content with it. Because Plextor has not been the subject of reportings of worldwide widespread recalls or malfunctioning units, a secret too big for the industry to keep from the public (and us here in the forum), I must assume that either the majority of owners are ignorant and/or satisfied with their 716A. Because I believe that most people can tell the difference between a functional drive and a nonfunctional drive, I would further assume that most people are satisfied with their 716A. Without knowing the actual statistics, and if one is in need to make an assumption, then this assumption is the only rational and logical conclusion until proven incorrect. (Of course, no assumption whatsoever would be the most prudent given the lack of scientific and verifiable data.)
All of my contact with technical support, exclusively by toll-free telephone calls, has been professional and nonconfrontational. This is not to they have had the answer to every question. But, tech support either solved my issue or had me RMA the drive. What more from tech support can you ask for? This does not excuse either a flamed-out tech support for admonishing a customer, nor does it excuse an ignorant customer that will not follow suggestion or procedure. (Being naive is not knowing better due to lack of experience. Being ignorant is knowing better but ignoring what you already learned.)
It is Plextor technical support's responsibility to ensure all appropriate troubleshooting avenues were tried prior to RMA'ing. This includes handholding a computer-naive customer through the troubleshooting algorithms. Once tech support says to RMA the drive, then it is not the fault of the customer for any "reason" later discovered for returning the drive drive.
Bottom line, it is the customer's responsibility to provide necessary information, follow technical support's guidance, and behave in a civilized manner. It is Plextor's responsibility to deliver a product as stated, provide warranty services as stated, keep it's customer's products updated (ie firmware in the case of drives) and informed (when problems arise such as RMA'ing) and behave in a civilized manner.
For the premium expense of their product, Plextor should either have the only product of its kind, be vastly superior to other similar products, or have a goldplated warranty and service operation. I'll leave that discussion to others for now as I just received my third drive, post-RMA drive #2, by UPS! Time to get busy and have fun again.