You will notice that all the burners in the tests are pretty much equal. Though some models did better in some tests, the differences are minimal for both read and write. We can't even distinguish by price, since the recommended price for each of them is around $300. But we can differentiate two categories of use.
If your main goal is to archive data, the DVD-R format (Pioneer DVR-A05 or TEAC DV-W50E) is the best choice. 4x burn speed gives you your result in 15 minutes. The time saved compared to DVD+R at 2.4x (over 24 minutes) is not to be sneezed at.
However, if you are more interested in video, the DVD+RW format is still the best solution. It is much more flexible to use and, what's more, it is compatible with Philips home players.
Now About Sony
With the DRU-500A, the question of utilization is irrelevant. Because it is universal, you can let your needs decide your choice. Of course, it is more expensive than the others at $350 for the internal version and $430 for the external one. But the price difference is not, after all, the end of the world!
In the end, apart from certain technical differences between the two formats which prevent you from using a DVD+RW disk on a DVD-RW burner and vice versa, the final recorded disk (DVD-RW or DVD+RW) is read-compatible with DVD-ROM drives, home players and even DVD-RW or DVD+RW burners. Most of the branded home DVD players released within the last two months are not just DVD-RW- or DVD+RW-compatible, they are also DVD-R- and DVD+R-compatible. For older players, the compatibility rate is 80%.
Never has the quality of blank disks been more important. No-name disks from Asia may cut prices, but above all, they cut quality. DVD recording absolutely must be done on good quality disks, and this means branded ones.