Regarding the anti-HP preference. I think most optical drives available today are made by LG and Liteon with a few more made by Samsung and maybe Benq. There used to be more manufacturers, but most now seem to rebrand either LG or Liteon. Companies like HP, Sony, Pioneer, Asus, and even the vaunted Plextor, now all rebrand other OEM drives as far as I know. This is to say that there are really only a few options to consider.
If you don't want to burn Blurays (only read them), then you might as well grab a Bluray reader/DVD burner such as this
and save a bit.
If you want to do Blu-Ray burning, I think the OEM drive with the most features is something like this LG
. Only OEM drive that can burn BXDL media that I know of.
FYI, I think this is the same
drive as above, just comes with burning software.