Plextor used to have a piece of software that would tell you the number of hours a laser
had been working for their drives (PX Info was its name I think). I suspect that other
manufacturers may have the same thing for service engineers but they possibly don't
I've only had one drive die on me due to laser problems so far
but that's probably because that particular drive was used for duplicating hundreds of
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.