Zonchord, I don't blame you for asking your question. Once upon a time, not too long ago, tons of companies were making RW drives, but a lot of them were crap forcing discerning users like yourself & I to be very picky about the drives we bought.
Fortunately, these days there are quite a few drives out and about. If I were you I'd restrain my research to the Optiarc 7240S & 7241S (depending on if you want LightScribe or not) and the Lite-On IHAS324, IHAS424, and IHAS524 (depending on if you want LightScribe or LabelTag). If you choose to go the Lite-On way do be careful. Some of the drives out there are just rebadged Optiarc drives.
Samsung has a fine drive out as well, but it doesn't have the scanning abilities the Optiarc & Lite-On drives have. As for Plextor, they are not nearly as good as they used to be. They no longer manufacture their own drives & you'll just pay a price premium for a rebadged drive you could have gotten cheaper that would be the same except for the Plextor name on the front.
I was in your exact same position a couple weeks ago & in case you're curious I finally went with a Lite-On IHAS424 because it has features no other brands have like SmartErase & doesn't require hacked firmware to turn it into an RPC1 drive.
Hope this makes your decision easier rather than harder.