There really is a hard and fast rule to the computer hardware biz:
You get what you pay for.
It's gotten harder to find good CD/DVD drives, though Sony, Toshiba, and Pioneer still make good ones. I bought a Lite-On this past week after looking things over (I wanted an SPDIF out, and it had that among other features), I don't know that it's the perfect drive, but `tis good so far. It's worth spending $40-50 mail order to get a good drive, and it's worth spending $100-120 to get a CD-RW if you know you're going to keep it a few years, or have friends you can sell it to when you buy a DVD writer. I'll only buy Yamaha and Plextor CD-RW drives these days for myself, perhaps Sony if I find a deal for a friend. It's just not worth skimping on if you value your rig.
Intel Q9450 @3.2GHz, Gigabyte GA EP45-UD3P, 4 x 2GB G.Skill @4-4-4-12
Antec P160SW case (modded), Xigmatek 750w PSU
3x 500GB (RAID-5), , OptiArc 7200S, ASUS E818A3T
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer, Hauppauge HVR-1800, Radeon 4890