Thanks for the input. I am conviced that several folks have working BenQ drives. I don't.
Here's a few of the things that have been tried: new cables, evaluated as only unit on cable, latest firmware, latest BIOS, evaluated on three different PC's, plenty of memory (> 1 GB), Win-XP SP2, latest Nero, latest Roxio. Dedicated machine, quiet machine, lots of restarts between trials and setting changes.
43 coasters and counting.