OK, I give. I'm up to a pile of 150 blank DVD's that don't work in my old drive. Fine, it really never worked that good in the first place, and its six years old now, with the newest firmware (about 5 years old - thanks for the updates Matshita ). That should give you an idea of my priorities: I see a computer like a power drill, or an old pickup truck. No glamour, just a tool - and it'd better work when I need it. So, speed isn't really a concern - If my current one would burn at 1x I'd keep it - but support (firmware upgrades?) and longevity is a concern.
Blueray isn't necessary, but depending on price I'm not opposed. I'd like recommendations for either laptop drives, or usb drives, and if one is preferable over the other, why? I'm leaning towards USB, as (budget allowing) my whole system might get replaced by a new desktop within the next year. At least a usb drive would still be useful.