I'm paying $1.17 per CD for replication of 1000 units. This includes the cost of all dry goods, printed in 4 color, as well as full color silk screening on the CDs themselves.
I've gotten feedback from a few people, including the plant owner, that says replication is more reliable than duplication when judging the sameness of the product from disc to disc. Also, the audio quality is better.
FWIW, we did some testing on CD brands, and chose Taiyo Yuden. You would not believe the difference between brands of CDs. Every other major brand that we tried introduced some sort of what sounded like compression into a given piece of music (this is orchestral film music and has a wide dynamic range). When the "fff" climax arrives in the cue, substantial amount midrange body is robbed out of the orchestra. Not with the Taiyo Uden. Actually, my mixes sounded better than I remembered after listening to the TY CD as opposed to even listening back through my DAW. A lot more present and musical. Also, one can visibly see the waveform differences between different CD manufacturers and how they handle dynamic range. Shocking, really.
Obviously, we didn't try all the CD brands out there. But the TY beat out TDK, Maxell, and Quantegy.
Also found that the best audio was had running a standalone SCSI CD burner (in our case a La Cie with a Teac engine) at 1x, reading files off an external SCSI drive (as opposed to internal IDE or external Firewire). Again, the differences between these methods were not as minute as one would think.
I knew I was holding onto my old 8600 for some other reason than the floppy dirve...