you're right about the conflicting reports (i read through a bit...)
i guess you just have to experiment yourself.
i've got the Sony DVP-S725D. i only tested a couple of Audio CDs, cause i'm not into VCDs/SVCDs etc, (no braodband so no d/l of films etc.) yet anyway.
well, one TDK CDR i tried long ago didn't work. don't even know the manufacturer/speed.
however i did get it to work with a Verbatim DataLifePlus CDRW, i think it was a HighSpeed 10x one.
AFAIK many of the older DVD players don't work well with CDRs but do work (sometimes at least) with CDRWs. give it a try.
from what i've heard of Princo, they're very compatible with old DVD players like ours, but they're terrible quality, start peeling after a few months etc...so that's not much of a solution either (not that i know how/where to get them either...)
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie
M.C. Escher - Reptilien