Many people want short and simple answers. For that, I'd recommend just click the "Reviews" button and then compare the conclusions of several latest drives only. It should take just a few minutes which is often shorter than the time to wait for answers on a forum thread. It's often some people who ask questions don't first tell what they already know and what their preferences are.
Don't believe hackers in forums who hang there and have no life whatsoever (unless you want to become like them/us :)
If you want a relatively trouble free drive and just want to burn and be relatively content without harassing yourself with all the media/firmware/hack choices, I'd recommend Nec ND2510A. Don't install hacked firmware on it though as it _may_ impair reading capability on that drive.
If you want to spend hanging time in forums, installing hacked and whatnot firmware, using the crummiest/cheapest media you can find, then you just have to do your own research and base the decision on your needs.
There is no single best drive that is best in everything.
The best depends on your needs, just like Ian and Kennyshin have stated.