I agree with attempting to clean it again.
Different device, but same concept for my story....
I bought my house, and the previous owner left a 3 disc CD-changer with a 5 speaker surround system in my garage. I plugged it in, radio worked, cd-player worked intermitently. I attempted to blow it out(figured it was dirty) and the cd'* suddenly started working a little better. I proceeded to tear the thing apart, and used a paper towel to lightly brush the lens clean. Well, I haven't been in the garage much lately, but last I knew, it was working flawlessly.
Try cleaning it again. Since you're considering buying a new one already, you won't be out much if you destroy the drive. If you try to clean the lense physically, I strongly suggest you be gentle. Good luck