>>the burn at <whatever>X speed thing dosen't apply anymore, and didn't apply much in the first place.
Bullshit. It *did* and still does apply, otherwise it wouldn't have still be recommended so much to people who are have making coasters with "decent" burners.
>>If I gave you a stack of cd's burned at 1x and a stack of the same burned at 40x on a decent burner you wouldn't be able to tell the diffrence.
By looking at them, well duh, no. If there's problems with getting data from the the disc (either data or audio), most people could tell you who the initial suspect is going to be.
>>Quality comes from the burner you use, not the speed it writes at.
New(er) burners burn better at faster speeds, but that doesn't guarantee perfection in every case. There's other just-as-significant factors like as well... like software..
>Also if you buy crap media you'll find problems later when you try and make a copy or use that disc, because crap media usually appears to burn fine but has bad spots.
The advice of buying reliable media has been around just as long as the advice of burning at slower speeds, that's nothing new. I like my Lite-On over my other drives, but I still burn slow to play it safe, it's certainly worth it to me.
As for those spots, I suppose if you write on them with a green magic marker, it helps....