Hey, no problem. We've all been there where we didn't know what we know now. It's how we learn. By asking.
A red AnyDVD icon in the Notification area means AnyDVD is active. This means it can interfere with Verifies and writes of certain kinds of media. Write once media like BD-R shouldn't be affected by AnyDVD, but I haven't tested it yet. I do know it interferes with DVD+RW when writing when it's active and doesn't interfere with DVD-R writes when active. Try right clicking on AnyDVD and unchecking Enable AnyDVD to turn it gray like you suggested. Then, I'd next try to do a Read of one of these discs that failed Verify. This would test if AnyDVD is interfering with Verifies. If it still fails, then AnyDVD might have interfered with the writing of the BD-R DL. You should try another BD-R DL burn with AnyDVD grayed out and see if you get the same results.
You say when you use File/Windows Explorer to write this information to BD-R DL, these discs play without pixelation? If that's the case, the "logical" answer would be AnyDVD might be interfering with the Write. However, of course, the logical answer is not always the correct one. It could be the way the drive is interpreting the commands. ImgBurn just sends out generic burn commands. Some drives may not interpret them correctly.
Unfortunately, there's no real answer to which burner you should get. The bottom line is no drive does everything it should because the manufacturers don't know what they're doing. Pioneer used to be one all be all, until they borked the firmware with 8x Ritek DVD+RW. Plus, the general quality decline I've experienced with them. Unfortunately, I need 2 different drives to do different things. What I described in my last reply. If you had luck with your Pioneer model in the past, then your best bet probably is to keep sticking with that kind.
As for if you should update the firmware, it depends on what you want to do with it. I don't have the 209. I have the 2209. However, the firmware revisions are the same for both models. This indicates to me the 209 might have the same firmware bork in it that the 2209 does. Despite being 209 as a substring in both model numbers, the 2209 writes to BD XL media and the 209 doesn't. So, it could be because of the different laser necessarily to burn BD-R XL media, the lastest firmware for 209 might not bork 8x Ritek DVD+RW. If you plan on never writing to 8x Ritek DVD+RW, you should probably update the firmware. And who's to say this borked DVD+RW writing isn't across all DVD+RW models and speeds? I don't have any other kind of DVD+RW to test with.
When I need to replace my 2209 or the next time I need to replace my LG, I'm going to either try the 209 and see if its firmware is borked or try the newer BDR-211UBK. The only difference with that model is it supports 4K HD Blu-Ray playback. But, depending on the laser and the firwmare, it might write 8x Ritek DVD+RW fine. I won't know until I test both of them. I can always return them with Amazon.com if they don't. And I don't really need 2209's BD XL capability as I've never owned such a disc. I believe the 2209 might also write to M-Disc, but my LG does the same thing. And I've only ever burned like 5 of those. So, I don't really need that capability either.
As for updating the firmware, you can downgrade firmware, but it takes some other tools, a little work, and a little knowledge of what you're doing. In fact, I didn't know it could be done until LUK told me. So, you can always regress back to the firmware one revision less if you find DVD+RW doesn't work right.