Just in case anyone needs this information:
I picked up a secondhand version 1.6 Xbox for $50 (yeah I know... I got ripped off...) used and put gentoox on it for use as a headless server. Since I didn't need the DVD drive anymore (a late generation LG-Hitatchi), I decided to swap it out for my rapidly-failing Thompson in my 1.0 xbox.
Unfortunately once installed I found that it had the classic Thompson problem - it refuses to open unless tilted a certain way, coaxed, etc. I popped it open to take a look.
Mechanically it's almost exactly a clone of the Thompson - actuator is in the same place, gearing is identical, etc. Fortunately, the same repair works for it that works for the Thompson - just pull out the tray, realign the actuator onto the track and suddenly it's mechanically sound.
So far the only differences I've found between it and the Thompson are it seems to read media better (no read errors, but it is a fairly new drive) and it seems to have a weaker stepper motor. I'd rank it slightly ahead of the Thompson but still way behind the Samsung and the Phillips.
Again, just putting this up here in case anyone runs into this issue in the future.