The blank Taiyo Yuden DVDs arrived.
Burnt Fedora core 4 test1, Solaris 10, and SUSE 9.2 DVDs - also with no errors reported by the Nero verify pass.
Booted the Fedora DVD successfully on the test box (already an improvement). Ran linux mediacheck which claimed there were errors on the DVD (though the scan seemed to run in less time). Did a basic install of Fedora 3.90 (as the DVD is labelled) without trouble. So does this mean the Nero verify scan is defective, the Fedora mediacheck is defective, is there some issue with the (older) DVD reader in the test box, or did the install simply not use any files with errors?
After the previous attempt at installing Solaris 10, it seemed that the problem might well be due to attempting to burn the installation to a poor-quality DVD. With better quality DVDs, the installation does indeed get further…
Bus Error - core dumped Solaris installation program exited.
Not an encouraging sign.
Installed SUSE 9.2 DVD. I rather like the SUSE installation program. For some reason SUSE could not configure to use my network, though it appears to recognize the SIS900 network hardware (common stuff). There was one read error reported installing a package. After completing the install and rebooting, could not start X. I have gone through the process of manually configuring X on more than one occasion in the past. It was a pain, and long enough ago that I do not remember the details. Since at least Fedora can configure X with practically no help, there just is no motivation to troubleshoot X on another distribution.
Pulling down Mandrake 10.1, Knoppix 3.7, and Gentoo 2005.0 for a try. Barring better results, looks like the new box is going to get Fedora.
There is some chance the above errors are with the (somewhat older) DVD reader on the test box. Have a new DVD writer on order. Will install on the test box and re-test when it arrives.