Originally posted by turtile
NEC 3550A - You can get it for $28 w/ shipping on Newegg sometimes.
This is what I have, pretty good choice. I actually would have preferred to get a Plextor but when i got my pc built there weren't any in that price range.
That said it really isn't going to make much of a difference. Plextor, NEC, and Pioneer are all good. I don't like Sony drives, though. I've dealt with several and I've never known them to work well more than 6 months.