I love my 1655...works great with just about any media. And if it doesn't, it's got SolidBurn (got some Memorex 16x DVD+Rs that are crap w/o it).
As for media: 8x Taiyo Yuden DVD+R or DVD-R, 16x Verbatium DVD+R, or Imation "Scratch Resistent" 8x DVD+Rs all do GREAT. Fuji 16x DVD+Rs work very well, too.
Here's an example of what it can do with good media (here, Fuji "Made In Japan" 8x DVD-Rs, made my TY):
Just avoid the cheap-o off brand stuff.
BenQ 1655, BenQ 1620, LG 4167, Plex PX-716SA, Samsung SH-S162L, SH-S182M, Pioneer 111D, Lite-On SHM-165H6S and 1.9TB of HDDs to feed 'em and an X2/4800 to crunch for 'em.