1) LiteOn drive. www.cdfreaks.com -> forums -> LiteOn to find out about
these cheap <$20 on sale drives.
Yes, there may be a Plextor Premium that has a few more features,
but it sure ain't cheap vs. the $20 LiteOns.
Highly recommended. Absolutely a delight to use.
2) ME-320 dual IEEE 1394 & USB 2.0 case. www.newegg.com and elsewhere.
This baby installs fast, works great on both USB & IEEE 1394, and
you can flash upgrade drives right in the box w/o any problems or having
to remove it and install in a desktop for flashing.
Totally eliminates the problem of having to pick between the two
interfaces as it'll have both.
Internal power supply so you don't have to worry about losing an
external P/S. Standard AC cable used in back.
Power switch in rear so you can turn it off anytime you want.
Built-in fan to help keep these super-fast CD-RW burners cool.
(Anything spinning at 48-52x over several dozen minutes will heat up a lot.)
Works fine in either vertical or horizontal mode, stackable.
Funny actually at ~$50 - 2x more expensive than the ~$20 CD burner!
3) I'd go firewire simply because once you've got the card in your PC
(or if it's already built-in), the ME-320 shows up without any drivers
at all. USB 2.0 still requires extra drivers, which is a pain if you
later upgrade the OS or lose the drivers disk.
Also, most benchmarks still show firewire interface pushing data
faster than USB 2.0, so it's the best choice for high-speed drives.