Let's not forget that ALL Kenwood CD-ROMs were VERY flaky with any firmware upgrades that were offered. Let's also not forget that the Kenwood's audio extraction was fast but riddled with errors. Every time my company tried to rip audio CDs with any of our Kenwood drives (52, 62 and 72 models), the resulting wav file was full of errors; the Kenwoods simply could not securely extract audio. The day my Kenwood 52X died (after a long 2 months of service) I was actually happy! No more dealing with unreadable media (that every other drive in the world could read) and no more DMA conflicts. The Kenwood CD-ROMs were fast as hell, but they were technically flawed from the outset; this was a design flaw that was never corrected, and after losing tons of money from RMAs and other mishaps the Kenwoods were happily discontinued. The Plextor 40TSi rightfully took its place as the leader and the Asus 52X now sits atop as the monarch of the CD-ROMs.
EDIT: Regarding the Plextor Wide: This drive was marketed to people who didn't read reviews; they simply saw the UltraWide moniker and assumed it was faster because of the faster interface. After reading the SR review way back in the day, I discovered that the older-interface 40TSi was the faster drive because of the upgraded firmware and mechanical improvements that the 1.xx models featured. My Plextor is the only drive that can extract FLAWLESS (no errors at all, unlike Kenwood's failed drives) audio at 40x (or above), though the Asus 52x comes damn close (tops out at 35x or so for secure rips with EAC).
Drives I Own:
Asus S520/A, Plextor UltraPlex 40TSi, Lite-on XJ-HD166S, Pioneer DVD-106S, Toshiba SD-M1712, Plextor PX-R820Ti, Plextor PX-W1210TS, Plextor Premium, Samsung SM-352B, Teac CD-W540E, Yamaha CRW-F1, Plextor PX-708A, Sony DRU-510A