Today Alan convinced me that I had to face my fears and buy a spool of disk. I headed over the the local electronics discount place then the office supply place when the first had almost no selection.
From what I had read Sony disks were considered safe, good and generally available so I bought a 50 pack of their AccuCORE DVD-R's and headed to the testing ground.
I put together a folder that weighed in at 4.0 Gigs and dropped it in Toast. I choice burning speed as "best", began the process and waited. At the 1 second left mark, a write error appeared and Toast crashed.
Hmmm... Maybe it's something I did?
I restarted the computer and began the next burn, this time at "2x", I waited and watched and Guess what happened...
As pissed off as I was I figured the drive it's self was most likely fucked and I decided I should consider cutting my losses, pull the hard drive out and wack the fucking computer with my chain mace, which my wife apparently hid.
I networked the soon to be destroyed eMac with my Mirror Door and transferred the test folder.
Next I happily popped in a fresh disk and hit all systems are go. I leaned back in my chair and felt pretty satisfied. I imagined what I could do with the eMac's carcass to ensure it's total suffering. As the burn came to an end the same error notice appeared, crashed Toast and made me see blood red.
I now began to wonder whether these drives didn't like the dyes being used on the DVDs. I put in a CD-R and burned it on the eMac, I did another I verified that they matched the original files... 100% fine.
I'm now going to research compatibility issues with DVD-R brands while I debate buying another hard drive and returning this batch of disks.