Yeah, they were burning dual layers at the trade show. This has been in the works for almost a year now. 12x DVD-R may also be on the home market horizon soon as well. A lot of advancements in the works to compete with the pending BlueRay technology.
For the money, you should stick with a Pioneer. I think Hitachi cloned the NEC design for those LG drives....don't quote me on that, but it fits their pattern. The only other drive to really contend with the Pioneer for price/reliability would be a Sony if you find one on sale. I'm still using a refurbed A04 (2X drive) that I got over 2 years ago and it is the most reliable drive in my system. It doesn't burn as fast as my LG CDRW/DVD Combo and nowhere near as fast as my LG DVD-ROM--but it almost never fails to read a source disc or burn a CD/DVD (except when I tried really crappy cheap media--AVOID MEMOREX AND PRINCO FABS!!!).
A04/A06 drives and Ritek G03/G04 combinations are the best bang for the buck for a solid PS2 Backup rig. Always image to hard drive first, then burn to DVD. Make your DVD-Burner Master on the channel, preferably by itself or with a READER ONLY (not a HD or CDRW) as a slave if you have to share the channel--it is a matter of optimizing the transfer rate, among other things. Sometimes one or both drives will need to be jumpered for Cable Select to get them to cooperate when sharing an IDE channel. 2X/4X burns are best when the media supports them. Avoid 1X burns on certified 2X/4X media unless absolutely necessary--they can load very slowly and are prone to skipping in movies at 1X. Slower burns are often good for CD-R's, but not so for DVD-R's--the dyes are very sensitive and pits can easily be overburned.
Welcome to the DVD-R scene, and good luck!
If it ain't broke don't try to fix it! But, hell if you can tweak that bastard just a little bit more....hehehe.