They were one of the problematic early drives Yamaha made. I had one for a while and it worked OK for me. They tend to overheat if you run them in a open case because they are designed to have air pulled through them by the convection a closed case with good fans make.
You also might want to check the drive rails inside the thing if your brave, they would get gunked up over time then the head assembly wouldn't move right anymore and you'd get errors reading and writing.
Unless it has low hours it's probably running on borrowed time anyways laser wise, but If it's cheap and you just want something that's what a lot of us started out on I guess it would be neat.
You can buy a 52x IDE burner for around 50 or less on sale now a days.