Interesting thread, especially the readability and firmware issues.
I have made a post about problems getting the speed to work properly, (can't burn above 2x), but I'm not convinced that is a problem with the drive.
From my experience, I have had excellent results with the burned discs. I have made +/-r and +/- rw dvds (as well as many cds) with no read problems. Even my picky RCA DVD player reads DVD-rw from this burner with no problems. Have also made game discs that play fine in both an Xbox and PS2. Now, nothing has been burned over 2x speed (mainly because I can't get anything to burn over 2x...), and media is usually good quality (Verbatim or Memorex). I have always been of the opinion that writing at the maximum speed is not the best idea if you want a good quality burn anyway.
As for the firmware, I did upgrade to BYX2 during the short time it was available. I have not switched to BY02. Is there a way to actually remove an upgrade (ie, could I go back to BY01 that shipped with the drive), or should I convert to BY02? Not going to be burning any DL DVD for the near future, nor any 12 or 16x dvd (especially since they won't burn faster than 2x anyway...)