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Oh, and BTW, I guess I needn't have been worried about my original linking mistake, as apparently all the entries in /dev are rebuilt upon reboot - the 'backwards' symbolic link I'd created is no longer there now, and the correct entry is (without any help from me other than pressing a power button) .
What I think I've discovered since is that many of the sound and video applications are coded around the idea of a single drive being in the config. Some default to the first drive, others the second... now that I can tell this, I think I'm just going to focus on particular apps and match the drive used to the app it likes.
donv2 - you're right, /dev is a dynamic filesystem that's managed by udev. Every time a device changes (added, removed, or the system boots etc), udev runs through a set of rules to determine how the entries in /dev should be updated.
You said that you saw no DVD entries in your fstab - you will only see entries in your fstab if you have DVDs in and mounted.