IMHO, any DVD drive faster than 2x is a waste of money... it's not going to view the movie any faster, and there are practically no software titles on DVD. Plus, the faster drives are really loud, but my old 2x Creative dxr2 makes almost no noise at all Speaking of which, I can vouch for the reliabiliy of this drive, heh- it's been used hard (many movies and marathon 12-14hr decoding sessions, packed back-to-back all weekend) and still works as good as the first day I bought it.
Pentium IV 2.4C Northwood- M0 stepping @ 3.2GHz HT
Air Cooled w/ SP-94 heatpipe & 92mm Vantex Tornado at 45C
4x256=1gb dual-channel 2-3-3-6 OCZ PC800DRAM @ 890MHz 3-4-4-8
MSI Neo2-PLS w/I865PE & SATA @ 4x267=1068MHz
BFG GeForceFX 5900@485/967MHz = 6284 3DMark2003s; dual-head 21" CRT & 19" LCD