Sorry to ressurect this old thread, I should have commented weeks ago, but completely forgot about it :doh:
Now, it's interesting that you mention that Arachne, because I firmly believe in brand loyalty, a mantra that is often used over and over again on Club MyCE is if you have found a brand that works well, stick to it, because chopping and changing might be a very expensive buisness!
Now, Maxell are for me an excellent brand which have built up it's reputation from the cassette and VHS days - I've always preferred these brands (because the cassettes are great, but their VHS tapes are astounding )
and for DVD-R I always buy this brand because this is one of the better brands that uses the equally excellent Ritek F1 dye.
A phrase I want people, in particular newbie burners, to stick to - If your uncertain about disc brand, always contact boards like these and we can point you in the right direction - And of course, always check about the MID code used in discs.
I stick to the idea of a brand that has built up a reputation - Maxell, Memorex, etc are all good brands because they have built it up for providing good media - Although for Memorex, that is a bit controversial
Lastly, check the colour of the dye on the discs. If it's barely visable, or needs a lot of light to see the discs, then it's not far wrong to say the disc won't last long. For example, Ritek discs (inc. G05, no problems here ) have a darker dye than the CMC MAG AM3 / E1 discs and have proven to last much longer than CMC discs.
For CD-R, the darkest dye has to be MBI CD-R, always good