Burning CD-R is not really an issue -- it's the playback and readback where the media shows its quality. It mostly overlaps with DVD media, in terms of who's best at making them.
Verbatim (Mitsubishi), for example, has great media that almost always burns well, and plays/reads in almost anything -- including 10-15 year-old picky equipment. You can thank the AZO dyes for that one.
Ritek, CMC, Philips, Princo -- not so great. Not bad, but not as reliable.
It is mature now, almost 15 years mature, than quality issues are not a real issue. The players/readers are just as much to thank as anything else.
The best way to avoid problems is to burn discs in the 16x to 24x range. Anything faster saves seconds at most, and at the risk of a bad burn (a CD coaster!)
I had planned on writing a guide on CD-R media (and may still do so), but we didn't really see much point to it. Unlike DVD, where tests show definite trends, CD was mostly good results. Burning too fast and old equipment was usually where something went wrong -- the discs themselves have mostly been fine for 3-5 years now.
Online questions and posts of "help, my CD is skipping" just really don't happen anymore.
For archiving, and for "guaranteed" positive results, use Verbatim CD-R made in Taiwan, Maxell made in Japan, or authentic Taiyo Yuden CD-R (also made in Japan). I don't even know that Maxell is still making CD-R in 2009, but my local Walmart still has stacks of them. CD-R just doesn't move fast, not like DVD. With iPods, thumb drives, the Internet, DVDs -- who needs CD anymore?
You must be a "dinosaur" like me, with a car CD player. My vehicle isn't equipped with that new-fangled MP3 stuff.