i have the pioneer dvr-104 dvd-r drive and it's awesome. i believe they just came out with a 105 drive though.
you may also want to keep in mind that many new drives do both dvd-r and dvd+r, which will help with the future if one media takes over the other.
you cannot burn most dvd movies 1:1 though, just keep that in mind. i recommend doom9.org and its forums for any more information involving the burning of dvd movies though. there is probably some good notes to be found in the forums about hardware as well.
also, media is extremely important. more important than the drive used even. i find that some media works great in almost all dvd players (usually the $2/piece stuff like tdk), but most of the generic cheap stuff always gets horrible reviews. i'd really get into spending the money on it first.
i obviously went for dvd-r. playstation2 will not read dvd+r and i always felt like that alone was a reason to go with dvd-r. umm, that's all i can think of now.. if you have anymore questions please feel free to ask.
I have a Sony DRU500. My computer supplies I usually buy locally in case I have to return them.
It works ok. The software is interesting. It does work. There are about 2 or 3 brands of software that come with it. I would flame one of them but don't want to get anyone pissed off.
To use the software that makes it seem like a regular "drive" , well, it made me remove my Nero Burn software to use that. That really pissed me off.
DVD PC burners are not cheap yet. But they can be used for backup. 4.7gb is a lot of backup.
The Sony does do all formats. But at this time, there are a few too many formats. Also, writers and home deck players are finicky about types and brands of discs. And the disks are NOT cheap.
If you have the money, fine. But they are a bit pricy. I got mine mainly to put slide shows on. My portable slide projector is about 30 years old and does not work 100% of the time. For a comparible quality projector, I got the burner. LOVE the slideshows now. My folks saw the first DVD I made tonight. They were amazed at the pictures.
The Software that comes with the SONY is usable. Lot of it.
One brand it came with to make VCD's is useless. I discovered another brand did it ok. Good thing, too, as if I could not make VCD's with provided software it would have gone back.
If I'm not mistaken the laser on a DVD drive requires more juice because of the complexity... I think the issue isn't the frequency of the burning, just overall the amount needed. Common sense, it will take less energy to burn a CD than a DVD (now at least). Despite the possibility that what I said might be false it's common sense to buy a product with a good warranty and brandname
There is a memorex writer out that is inexpensive.
Newegg used to have it for 260 but it is no longer available. Bestbuy has a $70 rebate off $299 which makes it 229!
But I can't seem to find a decent write up on it.