I've many CDs with labels on them. The only time I've ever experienced a problem was when the label was applied incorrectly. I understand that DVDs are a little sensitive when it comes to labels, especially when the labels are off balance. I would advise using only very thin matte labels on DVDs.
You can apply the labels by hand. Just take a CD spindle. Put a CD on the spindle as backing. Then put the finished label face down on it. Then, put the CD you want to use the label with on the spindle. Otherwise, you can get those CD label applicator things available off of ebay for like $5-$6.
For labels, check out "World Class Labels" via google.
You should be able to print labels with any printer, though depending on the label type. For instance, I cannot use an inkjet printer for glossy labels. But I can use glossy labels with my laser printer. With matte labels, the printer compatibility is pretty universal.