A couple things I forgot in last post: 1) Same thing happens in safe mode and 2) Performance Monitor shows the System process doing the writing Both oif these, along with what I mentioned before, have me pretty convinced it's the driver.
Nevermind. Driver is fine. Blinking light was due to Windows pinging DVD for autorun functionality. Disabling drive (I rarely use it) stopped blinking. Microsoft SysInternals tools show a lot of "idle" state disk writes but that's the nature of Windows according to some feedback I got at Microsoft TechNet. I was able to reduce these (for the sake of SSD longevity) using msconfig to only start what I appear to need. I'm a happy camper.