This isn't a direct answer to your question, but I just bought the TDK VeloCD 52-24-48 external USB CD burner from tigerdirect ($53.99 Cdn, probably $40-ish US from the US site). I'm happy with it - *with* Windows XP. I can't get it to work with my Windows 98SE machines, although I suspect that it might be a Win98SE/USB 1.1 incompatibility because I seem to be able to find users of this drive that have USB 2.0 and Win98SE and can get things to work. I'm going to try a USB 2.0 card in one of the machines in question (the other is a laptop) to see if that helps.
With XP and USB 2.0, the drive is very fast, very quiet and very fast at ripping. I'd give it serious consideration.
BenQ DW800a with dual format firmware (8-4-12 +, 4-2.4-12 -, 24-10-40 CD) (in KHypermedia clothing)
TDK VeloCD 5201 52-24-48 USB 2.0 external
BenQ 5232W 52-32-52
LG GCE-8381B 48-24-48
Yamaha 8824E 8-8-24
Ricoh 6201S 2-2-6 SCSI