It looks like NECSAM (NEC Solutions America) is getting back into the retail drive market. I saw this drive at CompUSA today:
http://www.compusa.com/products/product ... 2&pfp=cat3
The box made no mention as to what model was in it or its specs beyond its 16x DVD+R/-R writing speeds.
And yes.. I know retail NEC drives are available in Europe and Asia. We haven't seen too many in the US.