The super-multi DVD rewriter drive on my wife's laptop is not so super anymore. It stopped reading DVDs. It can burn DVDs, but it can't read any. It's still covered by warranty, but my wife can't part with her laptop at the moment.
My own laptop's DVD/CD drive broke down several years ago, shortly after the warranty expired...
I was planning on buying an external DVD rewriter drive for my laptop, but was reluctant to shell out the money, and frankly, I was worried that I'll have a hard time getting it to work with Debian. The current hardware problem was just the right excuse for me to dive into it.
So, for any of you planning to purchase such a toy: I got myself a shiny new LG GSA E60L external DVD rewriter. I took it out of the box, hooked it to the mains and a free USB 2.0 port and it just worked. Imagine my surprise.
Out of the 6 DVD-R that I burned already, one was bad, and I'm inclined to blame the software involved. I burned the first with Brasero, and it reported an error half way through the burn process. The rest I burned with K3b - no failures here.
K3b writes at a 4x rate, while the media is marked as "8x certified", and the drive itself is advertised as 20x. But it does write.
I haven't looked into the drive's LightScribe feature yet, but I guess I'll have to - once my wife realizes the potential...