From Doug Kaye I learned of an interesting article on how long CD-R's will last and things you can do to increase or decrease that time. I've always just popped down to Staples and bought the cheapest disks I could find. For some of my uses (the latest Suse distro, for example) that's fine. But this article makes the point that if you're using the disk to archive important material, you need to be more careful. The article contains information on how to select good media and media that's appropriate for the drive that you'll be recording on. This may be especially important for organizations building large collections of CD-R's that they need to keep to meet regulatory or other business requirements.
Update: Coincidentally, Steven Vore pointed to some NIST information on the same topic yesterday.