I don't know which is BEST, but I do know that Philips, Samsung and LG are pretty good right now, as is Sony.
1) LG's latest drives are very good speed wise. Their noise levels are slightly high though.
2) Sony's drives are OK, not bad for writing but the speed limits on CD Writing and Reading (not DVD reading and writing) ticks me off. The Sony drive I had conked out after 1 year, since then I never use Sony drives again. But overall Sony is pretty good if you can bear with the speed limits on CD reading and Writing (you can use the maximum speed by a specific function though, but you will have to do this again and again for each CD).
3) Philips drives are hard to find, but they are DAMN good. Not in terms of speed (but its still very good), but reliability is excellent, as is quality of burns.
4) Samsung's LATEST DVD writers are quite good to be honest. The SH-S182 series of 18x DVD writers (without lightscribe) have had problems, but if you get a "good" batch, then it works very damn well!
Here's how to identify:
For Samsung DVD writers, all the time I've noticed that the drives which have "Writemaster" logo on the drive itself (and on the picture of the drive on the box) are facing problems. The drives which have OCTOedge instead of writemaster on the drive itself and picture of the drive on the box, like mine, are running excellent!
The above information pertains to the non lightscribe SH-S182D drives, but keep this in mind while purchasing lightscribe models as well. My OCTOedge branded Samsung drive is doing exceptionally well!