From what I have seen here, Verbatim and TY seem to be in the GOOD list of most people's preferences. There is no 100% but basically, Verbatim is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, owned by Mitsubishi. So, 99.9% of the time, Verbatim discs should be MCC. As for TY, the best way to get TY is to buy TY from an online vendor, you probably won't see it in the store, at least if you are in the US.
As to the Plextor problems, I did my reading here first, I too was going to buy the 716, Buy.com had it for $110 and a $30 rebate, but after reading the problems here, I got instead a NEC 3500A. The two most popular all-around drives seem to be the BENQ1620 and NEC3500. (all in my opinion, as I could not have possible read all the threads here and done a scientific study).
I also base that partially off of this poll from cdfreaks:
16X DVD Writer poll