Q8: Aside from Panasonic, what brands of DVD media does Panasonic recommend?
On internet discussion forums I'm seeing many comments that certain brands appear to be more reliable than others.

DVD media is actually made by three to four major manufacturers.
These manufacturers sell to all the known name brands. Buying one brand doesn't actually mean you are buying media made by that company.
In fact, it's quite possible that different lots of the same branded media can actually be manufactured by more than one company.
In most cases, difficulties you may experience with DVD media can be traced to a few causes.
These include scratched, warped or media that may have finger prints on the surface.