I find the Frenhaufer encoder that Musicmatch uses superior to the Lame encoders when it comes to sound quality. The fact that Musicmatch uses the Frenhaufer codec was what made me choose this app, and I use it exclusively to encode MP3s.
BTW I don't understand why you want to transcode your audio CDs to MP3 if you're concerned with audio quality.
To rip the CDs, Exact Audio Copy is the best available app and it's free. If you have damaged CDs, an excellent CD reader will be paramount, too.
For tags I can't help, I don't use that stuff much so I'm happy with what Musicmatch allows me to do.