A number of companies, such as Quantegy and Mitsui, give "lifetime" guaranties on CDR's. I believe there are two basic types of CDR's. The cheaper kind (such as TDK) use something called pthaline die (sp?), and it's been said that those only have a useful life of about 10 years. You can tell these by their appearance, because they have a bluish cast. The more expensive kind use something called phenolphthaline (sp?) die, and those are supposed to be of archival quality.
Also, believe it or not, different kinds of CDR's sound different. I've had wonderful luck with Mitsuis (particularly the Mitsui golds) and Quantegies, but have found that Memorex's sound terrible.
I've burned hundreds of CDR's on my HHB CDR 800 CD recorder, and have had uniformly excellent results with both the Quantegies and the Mitsuis. Just don't put them in direct sunlight or get fingerprints on them.