Not sure if I goofed during purchase or if the just arrived Dell Inspiron 7000 normally comes without a CD/DVD drive. Nonetheless, I need to purchase a USB/external unit for those instances when needed.

I don't know which manufacturers are best and which to stay away from and what should be considered an acceptable transfer speed. The device will be used 99% for program install, infrequent archiving, reading other's data. Blu-ray is unnecessary.

It'd be great (I know my wife would appreciate it) if the device was available in aluminum to match the laptop.