Sure, since you ask. I tested 7 different media on both my 3500 and my 3520 and I found that the two drives performed almost the same in burn quality. Also, the NEC 3500/20 were the best drives I ever found for burning +RW media, turning out burns almost as good as normal media.
No one would suggest giving up your NEC 3500 if that was on the list. Just to be impartial, note that if you had said you had an NEC 3540 I would have said jettison that drive.
I have looked at the burns from Pioneer drives on the same 7 media types and none of them ever approached the NECs or the LGs I have or the BenQ 1620 I had. The Pioneer burns were OK and always readable but the scan curves always had high PIF/PIE totals and frequently had bumps and slopes and peaks. If you want fast ripping from a Pioneer, you forgo bitsetting and vice versa. Lastly the only media I fond where the Pioneer drives were decent was MCC 003 and my LG 4166 turns out burns almost twice as good as those.
Lastly, the LG firmware needs no help. The Pioneer firmware is never hacked. L&D are constantly improving NEC firmware adding any number of features and improvements. All three of my NEC drives have their firmware and the 3500/20 firmware make my +R media just perfect.
I don't hate Pioneer, they are just boring and all my media has better burns from other drives. I actually might get a 111 this weekend if I can see some scans on TYG02 as this is the only media I use a lot on which I cannot get a high quality burn. My standards are very high so I don't want anyone taking offense.
There you are.