CD Recorder

I want to buy a CD recorder, but have heard that some are more reliable than others. Anyone care to share their experiences as far as operational ease, features and in particular reliability? Also, do some make a better quality copy than others?
I have used a Philips 880 for about 5-6 years without a problem. Not having used any others I can't say its superior to any other make in reliability, features or quality of output. Pioneer made some well reviewed units if I remember correctly. I think mine sold originally for about $450, and I've seen a few in the classified for about $200.

I bought it primarily to make vinyl to cd copies, and didn't want to have to move my computer into my listening room and invest in a high quality soundcard. Of course that meant I couldn't use some of the "denoising" software to eliminate 'pops' and other anoyances in the vinyl. But I did experiment with taking the cds made by the Philips and running a few through such software on my computer, thus generating second generation cds. My trials suggested that I lost some sonic quality in the second gens, so I later skipped that step.
I have owned many cd recorders and recommend that you buy a professional deck (NO SCM and will record on any CD blank). I have both marantz models (CDR631 single and CDR500 dual). They both work great. They are available from pro dealers (GOOGLE: MARANTZ CDR500 or CDR631).
Consumer decks are a pain in the***.
I am inclined to agree, don't buy a consumer recorder. They are a major pain.
Now to confuse you....There is a CD burner made by Pioneer called the PDRW-739 that makes slightly BETTER sounding copies than the original. I know this sounds impossible, but there are valid technical reasons for why this is happening. Unfortunately, this particular burner is known to have a higher than normal break donw rate on it's cahnger mechnism, so it may not be your ticket. I managed to find a brand new one on ebay for $200 (list price is $700), so I'm not really concerned if it dosn't last. I've managed to archive over 400 burned discs, and they all sound better than my originals!

BTW: Whatever burner you buy make sure you use Mitsui CD-R's. I compared 8 different brands, and Mitsui's are by far the best sounding.
I second Jksellman's opinion about the professional Marantz
CD recorders. I'm the owner of a 12+ year old video editing
and media duplication company. We have used a Marantz Model
CDR500 for the past ten months; and it has performed perfectly and produced excellent sounding discs. I might
also mention that all the discs I have produced for myself
work perfectly on my CD players at home and in my autos -
something that CANNOT be said for some of the "cheapy"
computer CD burners on the market.
CD-R reliability-- that's a tough one. What it boils down to is "you pays your money and you takes your chances". I've owned/used 5 CD recorders:
1. Pioneers 739-- excellent sounding copies, very versatile and pretty easy to use with good manual. No reliability problems in 2+ years . My daughter liked it so much I gave it to her.
2. Pioneer 609-- a single well recorder (not dubbing) and too big a hassle to use, IMO. Returned it.
3. Pioneer Elite W37-- almost identical to the 739, and loaded with features. It malfunctioned right out of the box, and build quality was disappointing for what they call their "Elite" series-- returned it.
4. Phillips CDR 885-- made nice copies, but malfunctioned after just two; flimsy appearing build quality-- I returned it.
5. I'm presently auditioning a Marantz Professional CDR500 dual well dubbing recorder and like it a lot. The build quality is much better than the Pioneers or Phillips, IMO, but then it costs more (MSRP $850, best street price about $675.). This is my choice as "best" of those I've tried. An A'Gon friend has this recorder too, but it's in the shop for repair-- however, he thinks he may have caused the problem. The Marantz manual is not at all clear on how to set Record Level for compilations, but otherwise it's easy to use--their Tech Support was very helpful with this. All functions have worked well so far, but I've just done 3 CD-Rs. I also like the professional features, and plan to purchase this machine. Good Luck. Craig
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like a pro unit is my best bet...I'll just save my pennies a little longer.
I have a Pioneer PDR-609, and I really like it. It's easy to use, and the copies of CDs sound virtually the same as the originals. Recordings from analog sources sound great too. A friend has a professional recorder. The main difference is that he can make copies of digital copies, and he can record onto any CDR, not just consumer audio CDRs. The price difference between computer and consumer audio CDRs is much smaller than it once was.

I also recommend Mitsui CDRs, but I've also get great recordings on TDK and Maxell.
The Tascam CDRW-700 was my choice after a "training wheels" Pioneer. At $450 from Oade Bros., this single-disc unit does everything. Uses cheap computer CDRs and CD-RWs, has a "direct digital" link to avoid sample rate converters, has a one-day timer, has an "unfinalize" feature in additon to the usual CD-RW erase mode, and has proven totally reliable. And it makes creat sounding copies (and copies from copies). Good luck. You're in for a lot of fun.
Did any of the retailers you purchased your unit from offer an extended warranty package? As a rule I am not big on these for most electronics, but in the case of a CD burner it seems a prudent precaution as I suspect due to the mechanical/electromechanical nature of the beast that there are more things that can potentially go wrong.