Hey, chas ... thanx for your comments and esp. your candor. Considering the experience you've personally had with the BenQ 1620, I don't blame you for harboring frustrations and disappointment in the drive. Hope this 3rd try's a "charm"er for you.
Granted, there are plenty of people who've gotten some incredibly amazing burns / scans (esp. TYG02's @ high speeds as well) using the Benq 1620's, but, obviously you can't ignore the posts dedicated to drive failures. Like you said, you knew it going in and even factored in the RMA costs (tho one never expects to have to fork it over ). I, too, took the leap of faith based on my targeted media and how there were plenty of scans to support the BenQ 1620 would/could burn them very nicely (esp. TYG02, YUDEN000 T02's). So far so good ... if RMA time comes, then I'm ready for that too.
For the prospective buyer, I think it would be only fair to present both sides of the story. Yours is unfortunate, but there are still many who have been doing fine and satisfied with their purchase. I do agree with you that it really shouldn't have to be a crapshoot when buying a burner. But, I can only assume there will be variation from hardware batch to batch as to their performance with firmwares as well. I suppose the NEC's are more consistent in this regard. Not knowing first hand, I can't really comment.
As for your scans ... WOW!! I can definitely see the benefit of having a LiteOn to "compare" burns b/t other burner brands. Very cool.
Media Scores ... took me a little bouncing around the page to get your rating system, but it's a very nice chart you've got going!
So, again, as you also mentioned, it comes down to media preference / targets of the prospective buyer. Me, personally, I doubt I'd use most of the MID's you've listed on your chart. The most relevant scans for my consideration (based on my media selection) would've been:
PIE: max (total @ avg), PIF: max (total @ avg)
BNQ 1620 - 25 ( 26,580 @ 1.58 avg), 2 (64 @ 0.00 avg)
NEC 3520 - 38 (137,885 @ 8.01 avg), 2 (20 @ 0.00 avg)
BNQ 1620 - 8 (18,762 @ 1.12 avg), 2 (234 @ 0.00 avg)
NEC 3520 - 10 ( 8,648 @ 0.50 avg), 3 (957 @ 0.01 avg)
RITEK R03: ( these are scanned with different drives actually )
BNQ 1620 - 14 ( 67,006 @ 3.87 avg), 2 (247 @ 0.00 avg)
NEC 3520 - 127 (1,596,549 @ 88.29 avg), 1 (243 @ 0.00 avg)
.... so, I guess it comes down what a person has in mind for media. And, through your postings about your comments and the others who have experienced negative things, it's a buyer beware situation I suppose. I just hope BenQ gets the 1640's right b/c their drives are certainly "capable" of high performance ... again, a subjective term based on the individual buyer's needs.
Hey, dude. Sorry for the thread hijack. Just was hoping to get some clarification from chas0039, which he did in a very gracious way. So, jegus, good luck with your next purchase. Looking forward to seeing some great scans from your next burner.