ok, i just picked up what looks like a good deal on a pretty fast cd-rw drive at staples.
Cendyne 32x12x40 CD-RW (this is the same as the lite-on drive of the same speed, according to reviewers at epinions.com)
review of the lite-on drive at CDRLabs
the drive is priced at $79.98, with a $50 MIR (from staples). that puts the price at $29.98 + tax (s/h is free)
in addition, staples sent me an email just this morning that had a coupon code for $15 off a $75+ purchase (i'm not sure if it's a general coupon code or if it was specific to me, so i won't post it here, but i you're on their email list, you should have it).