To give an idea as to how this unit performed against other real world drives, I did some testing on a number of units around the home, office, and even some tests on systems that are used by my friends. To make it simple, I've made it into a graph so that the results will stand out.
Results - Drive Rating
The Kenwood unit took a bounding lead in this category, but that was expected considering that it is rated at 72x. Surprisingly, the DVD unit took the 52x CD-ROM drive from Creative and had it for a little snack. Results like this are helping me decide that I made a very sound decision in changing out my drive.
Results - Access Times (milliseconds, lower is better)
The Creative burner didn't fare well at all in this test, but then again, it's not really meant for this kind of workload to begin with. The DVD drive placed pretty much in the middle ground, but considering that acting as a CD-ROM is its secondary function, this isn't too bad at all. It even beat out the Kenwood Uber-Drive in its random access times.
Results - CPU Usage (Lower is better)
CPU usage is a rather important, but often overlooked test that I wanted to include. You can have the fastest drive in the world, but if it's eating up all your CPU cycles, then it's really kind of worthless. Its almost like trying to run a marathon with a steel ball tied to your ankle. The Pioneer drive held it's own and showed a very consistent 2% CPU usage across the board. This bodes well since your system will have plenty of horsepower left to actually do something with all the data that is being transferred to it.