This unit, as well as a hybrid ver. of this same unit (BDR-S03J) are both made in JApan. The difference is that the BDR-S03J has some sort of dust proof internal tray.
So for the similar price range, I would go w/ this one since LG, Sony, and Panasonic is made in CHina.
As to burning, why is it that none of these unit start burning at 8X?
I look at my Pioneer DVD burner, they seems to burn at max speed at the beginning
As to booktype, my Pioneer DVD burner automatically set booktype, so I am hoping this Pioneer BD-R does the same thing