My first DVD burner I purchased a few years ago cost $199 dollars. It was a Liteon model that served me well. I have my whole vast collection of CDs ripped into mp3s and burned to DVD+R discs for over 30 gigabytes of data.
Recently, Blu-ray and HD-DVD has hit the scene and those burners are now showing up in stores for a whopping starting price of $599. That is no typo. You pay a premium for being on the bleeding edge of technology. It has an added side bonus though bringing down the current price of regular DVD burners below the $50 dollar mark. There has never been a better time to jump into buying a DVD burner and they are super easy to install. I just recently purchased a Sony dual layer DVD burner whose burned discs hold over 8 gigabytes of data for just under $50. Those prices are just amazing.