Dead drive update
I did bite the bullet and buy a CD burner: and here it is.
With optical drives, the trailing edge is the place to be. My first CD-ROM drive, a 4.4x Pioneer, cost £90. By the time it failed, CD-ROM drives had become ubiquitous, with 52x the standard speed. The replacement drive, an OEM Lite-On, cost £20.
And CD-RW has obviously now become commodity too. They're all 52x/32x/52x, they're all pretty much the same, and they're all cheap. The Lite-On was one of the cheapest I found, and a good brand which I've been happy with; deal. And it's still cheaper than the drive it's replacing.
And boy, is it fast to burn, compared to the old workhorse we used to use at work. I can burn an 80-minute audio CD from iTunes in 1½ minutes. Sufficiently-advanced technology, indeed. Now I can press my own CDs to play in the car.