I bought a DVD burner yesterday and some DVD-RAM media. Although I've read and heard some negative opinions about the RAM format, I wanted to try it out for myself. The DVD burner is a LG GSA-4120B, which supports every DVD format in existence right now (+R, -R, +RW, -RW, +R DL, and RAM) and the DVD-RAM media is manufactured by Panasonic (made in Japan!)
I primarily bought this drive for backup purposes. My first test for the RAM media was to transfer my backup files to it. It was pretty amazing! It behaves just like a hard drive: no DVD-writing software required, quick writing of small files, and no waiting for lead-in and lead-out before ejecting the disc. In fact, it took me some time to get used to it because it's so unlike -RW/+RW. Each DVD-RAM disc is basically a 4.26GB hard drive :D.
I do have two complaints about the RAM format though. The first is that it is slower than +RW in transfering large amounts of data (a 3x RAM speed is actually equal to only 1.5x because it uses write/verify and read/verify instead of pure write and read). The good thing is that I don't plan on using this for large transfers at a time -- the initial backup will be a large transfer and will take a while, but after that only small modifications need be made (you don't copy 30+ GBs of stuff onto your 40 GB hard drive everyday now do you? :P) My second complaint is its incompatability with most DVD drives. Few DVDs can read them and fewer still can write to them. :(
There are lots of good things about RAM too. The DVD-RAM format is highly reliable due to error-correction features built into every disc. It also sports >100 000 times rewrite capabilty -- each disc will last you more than 27 years if you rewrite it 10 times a day -- and is bootable to boot :P. This reliablilty mumbo-jumbo may not translate into real-life perfomance but I can testify that it's pretty darn good. I've used an Imation DVD-RAM disc from Roxio as my personal coaster for 3 months now, the disc going through steaming hot mugs on top and a rough wooden surface on the bottom everyday. It has endured much punishment, indeed: if a hot mug goes on top, it immediately curls up due to the overwhelming heat. I thought it was certainly dead, but yesterday I tried to see if it would still work with my new burner. Indeed it did! All it required was a re-format :D
I think DVD-RAM is a great format for computer (data) use. That was and still is its purpose after all. As for anime and movie backups, I'm sticking with -R/+R because I only need write-once capability and the fast speeds (like 8x +) are nice. I hope this post helps you choose a good burner (if you're actually looking for one) :D