From what I've heard SCSI is the way to go. If your copying music the IDE drives may tend to screw up the recording. Something about buffer overuns. I just got a HP 8110i and love it. Its a IDE drive but its all I could afford. Software is good and so is the manual. Circuit City had them on sale for $179. after rebate. Be forwarned, when you see the speed specks on them they show you the speed specks for CD-R. CD-RW is slower. Not a huge deal but something i didn't know until after i bought it.
I have a Yamaha 4/4/16 SCSI. It has a 2 meg buffer and runs great. The SCSI interface allows seamless multi-tasking. For example, a few months ago I remember playing a game of Quake 2 while burning a CD.
However, if you're burning at 4x, I wouldn't recommend doing heavy multi-tasking, because if the data flow to the laser is interrupted for even one millisecond, the CD is worthless! The big buffer helps, but only for a little while.
I have no idea about its compatibility in Linux. But being a recognized name brand, drivers are probably available.
SCSI to SCSI would give you the best reliability, because SCSI is designed for heavy multi-tasking!
I always burn the image first from my IDE CD-ROM to my SCSI hard drive, then burn from that drive to the burner. The only times I get buffer underrun is when I'm running some heavy-duty application off the SCSI hard drive while simultaneously burning at 4x. My Atlas III isn't fast enough for that!
Saying Plextor is the best isn't 100% true. It should be Plextor is among the best in my opinion. There is an awful lot of excellent CD-RW drives out there right now made by Ricoh, Sanyo, HP/Sony, Teac, and Yamaha. Plextor makes great SCSI drives (BTW: they stopped making SCSI 40X CD-ROM drives), but I wouldn't call their IDE CD-RW drives the best.
My CD-RW Drive recommendations:
Ricoh MP7125A-DP 12x10x32
Ricoh MP9120-DP 12x10x32x and 8x DVD
TDK 16x10x40 (aka Sanyo CRD-BP1400P)
Yamaha 16x10x40 (IDE or SCSI)
Please, let's not repeat what we've heard as fact. There are countless IDE drives in the field doing a fabulous job copying audio material.
I've heard that people that think SCSI recorders do a better job at recording audio are clueless morons, but I'd never repeat such conjecture as fact, or advise others based on that conjecture, especially if I actually owned an IDE drive.
Wow, been ages since posted here. Damn school...
Be sure to check out the new BURN-Proof technology drives (Plextor and TEAC implement it that I know, there are others too). Basically it makes buffer underruns a thing of the past. (Yes you can actually USE your puter while you burn)
BTW, I guess that finally puts the nail in the coffin to the old "SCSI vs. IDE" burning dilemma