i must say, i've never owned a plextor. i probably would have at one time except they're impossible to find where i live. i also couldn't see paying twice as much for them as for other good drives with the same capabilities. i have used a number of them and they were pretty sweet.
after my first phillips (i think it was 3600 or 3610 - scsi) i wanted something to use with clonecd. i got a mitsumi because it was the highest rated at burning in raw dao mode, not to mention the cheapest. after a couple of them i got another philips just to do sd2, gave it to my son.
when the liteons first came out i had never heard of them and was somewhat apprehensive but at those prices they were practically disposable. i got my 24102b soon after they were released and have burned HUNDREDS of cds of all kinds. it works just like it did when it was new and shows no sign if giving up. if it does i'll just figure i got my money's worth and buy another liteon. i like to copy games and i've never run across a protected audio cd.
as notahacker says, maybe i should have gotten a plex. i'm sure they're every bit as nice as you guys say they are. of course i would be frustrated when i try to back up my games, or if i tried using cheap media. at least they're built good enough that they CAN be refurbished, even though many of them apparently have to be.
i guess by the time my liteon dies i'll be ready for the newly-released 120x plextor. then i'll finally be able to brag that i own a plex. until then i guess i'm just stuck with inferior equipment. it's a good thing that i'm well-hung or i would be feeling inadequate now.