I agree with you that drives make a difference with a bad CD though, my TDK CDRW reads a lot better (and quieter) than my LiteOn combo especailly those badly manufacturered CDs with lots of pinholes on them. My point is that with a good CD, the result would be exactly the same with no matter what drives (in good working order of course).
1G 10GB & 4G 40GB iPods
Shure e3c & Sony MDR-CD2000
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card