I don't look too close at the 39 buck dual layer 16X DVDRW drives we install at the office. If they fail in a year we'll replace them but what we discovered is that most last 2 or more years. Since HD DVD recorders are just starting to trickle out I think this is a good deal.
Try newegg.com and other places.
What is the most popular drive for the common user? I'd want to do all the usual stuff from archiving to movies, and I'm assuming the best all around drive for a good price is going to be the most popular, Any opinions you may have of your own or technical information that may shed some light on this for me are also welcome.