The TDK 440N 4X DVD burner we bought 4 or 5 years ago finally died. It served us well, burning hundreds of DVDs and CDs until finally just wearing out. The TDK drive was a steal at around $120, and it wasn’t too picky about blank media. Rarely did it produce a coaster.
But tech always gets cheaper and better, and it’s now easy to find fast name brand drives for less than $30. We just ordered a Sony NEC Optiarc burner. The drive burns single layer DVDs at 18x and dual layer at 8X. The price was right: $28.99 shipped from NewEgg (yeah, we’re suckers for free shipping). OEM drives don’t normally come with burning software, but we have that covered already, with unused copies of Nero and RecordNow floating around the house. We’ve not heard much about Optiarc drives, but the two parent companies have good reputations. Hopefully, the Optiarc will serve us as faithfully as the TDK did.