Thanks for putting my mind at rest regarding ide cables. (I had read something [a link on this site that I can't seem to find again] saying that the master should be on the middle connector, but set to slave?! Perhaps I read it wrong?) My drive, too, is the secondary slave, master being a Teac CD-W552EK. Since it works, I expect you are right.
As for the chipset drivers, I do have the proprietary Nvidia drivers, but have so far noticed no problems. Until I do, I suppose I will leave it as is.
...Btw, for those interested in that sort of thing, the German magazine Computer Bild (No. 9/2004) ranked the 1008 no. 3 out of a field of 16 drives including most of the big names. I suppose that these ratings are largely firmware dependent; nevertheless, the 1008 performed well for them.