Not using EAC to actually extract the audio from the physical pressed CD's essentially defeats the purpose of using a program like EAC.
EAC not only "detects" errors but will re-read (repeatedly) "problem" areas of a dammaged disc.
AFTER it has done as good a job as it can it will also "gloss over" glitches by "smoothing" the data.
If you use anything other than EAC to read the physical disc you are losing your one and only chance to "read through" any errors and thereby increasing the ammount of "glossing over" that needs to be done.
Though it should be added that other audio programs gloss over automatically, basically hiding from you how bad things really are.
Personally I like to know if a particular CD is physically dammaged.
Because if I KNOW then I can put it on my list of discs to be replaced
with HDD space as cheap as it is I've lost interest in FLAC.
I simply store wav+cue
I use mp3 only because when I'm mobile it is much more convenient
but even there I use the utter minimum of compression.
as for "wear and tear" on your optical drive... why do you care?
an optical drive is a tool, tools wear out, when they do you replace them.
Computers, and their components, are nothing more than complex tools for manipulating DATA.
it's the DATA that is important, not the hardware, not even the software.
and in the end optical drives even if in perfect working order are only useful only so long as the media it's firmware is written to work with is available.
Hey, even the continents have been recycled...