I had a similar choice to make recently…
I ended up buying the Plextor Premium AND a Pioneer DVR-106D for almost the same total price as the Plextor DVD burner.
I can’t talk about copy protection because my main interest is audio ripping/burning but I have to say I am very happy with the Pioneer for my purposes:
- The Pioneer drive seems well made
- Pioneer works with all cheap media I’ve used so far (no probs with Princo etc)
- Rips DVDs very well - even some so damaged they will not play on my two ‘normal’ DVD players!
- Rips Audio CDs in EAC ‘Secure Mode’ about 20% faster than the Plextor Premium does and in ‘Burst Mode’ the Pioneer can rip DAE at 20x! (but EAC claims there is no C2 error read mode with this drive - BTW I normally use my PX-40TS for audio ripping)
- There is a hacked DVD ‘Region-Free’ and ‘speed-unlimited’ firmware for the Pioneer easily available on Internet (I don’t believe such exists for the Plextor)
Plextor and I ‘go back a long way’ (two previous Plex CD burners both of which which I liked a lot) but I am so impressed with the Pioneer unit that I will probably consider this marque before Plex when I upgrade to a 16X dual-layer burner in 12-18 months time
I cannot get Plextools to run with the Pioneer and the Plex Premium in the same computer (see another posting I made). This may just be a problem for me (may work fine together in other machines), but worth considering. All other apps work well on both drives (incl. CloneCD and Blindwrite for you?) but without Plextools many of the obvious reasons for buying the Premium are somewhat negated…
Dunno if this helps…