In the case of DVDs, I already knew what was good/bad going in. However, as a first purchase, I still ended up with a spool of RitekG05 because of a packaging mistake (thought I would get Maxell's Japanese made media).
Yeah, they degrade for sure. Discs burned okay initially, but many now struggle through a transfer rate test. Fortunately, I was already aware of the uproar over the G05, so I only used them for testing.
As for CD-Rs, I bought a burner expecting media to last no more than a few years. During the late 90s, I witnessed a friend's Princo collection become unreadable (to the point that no standalone player or CD-ROM drive could even detect the discs) within half a year, so I never trusted the technology as anything but temporary storage. In that regard, I guess these boards made me more willing to use CD-Rs for low cost archiving.