DVD Burners on laptops should follow when the price drops. As for the choices out there I would recommend any name brand, don't want to say the name here, heard their was going to be a lawyer looking in...LOL. You are going to pay a little bit more for the name brand but you’re also getting the support that you WILL need. Make sure that the computer that you are going to be using it on is up to the challenge of the burning that you are going to be under taking. Also, there is aslew of software available to burn DVDs but I would say Nero is on the top of my list.
Here is a link for comparison shopping: http://www.hifiheaven.com/mm-dvdrecorders.htm
As for the Palm, I use Windows CE based devices and don't know a lot about the Palm OS. If you send me the text I will see what I can do. I have a couple of friends that are Palm users/developers so I am sure that I can get something back to you...
Hope this helps,
PS: I just came from an interview, got the job and start tomorrow...only four more years till I can test...LOL