Note: This question isn't asking for buying advice; it's compatibility advice.
I need to install Mac OS X 10.7 on my Mac mini (mid 2011) which does not have a DVD drive.
Background: I upgraded my original 10.7 install to 10.8 (dev preview), I need to install 10.7 on a new partition, and still need my 10.8 install there for testing.
Rather than buying a shiny Mac SuperDrive for £66, I figured I'd just buy a cheap generic DVD drive for £15 but I'm worried that I won't be able to install Mac OS X (on an empty partition) using this. I would bet that the DVD drive will work on an installed OS, but I'm a little bit unsure of whether I can actually boot from one given the proprietary nature of Apple hardware.
Please could there be no "it should work" or any guess answers like that. Please only answer if you have first hand experience of this actually working on a Mac mini or MacBook Air.
This post seems to indicate that I can use a generic DVD drive, but nobody has said anything about booting to the OS X installer.