Why is Linux so cool and fun? Because many of the things people do with their computers are very easy to do in Linux. Like ripping a CD.
Using Kubuntu 7.04, go to the KDE menu and click system settings. Click on the advanced tab. Click on audio encoding and finally the MP3 Encoder. This is where the MP3 settings are located at (quality, bit rate).
Now, put a CD into your CD-ROM drive. You should see an icon that looks like this on your desktop.
Click on the icon. You will see a folder that looks similar to this:
You'll see the files for each song on the CD and folders. No I didn't create those folders, Linux did. Inside them are dummy files. Copy the files from the CD onto the desktop and your Linux box will begin ripping them. The full CD folder contains the entire CD in one file in several different formats. The MP3 folder has the individual tracks in MP3 format. Same with the CDA, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis. The information folder has the information for the CD. It's that easy. Nothing to buy, download or run.
By the way, I wanted to show off one of my desktops (this system has four separate desktops, but you can configure it to have more). This is Linux running Beryl (the superior alternative to M$'s glass or whatever they call it). My desktop picture changes every hour (comes with Linux, no need to download or install software).