drive technology has progressed so much in quality and in speed. The major determing factor for a quality burn is the media to which you burn to. At 4x, this isn't much of an issue, but more so with higher speed drives.
As far as the "toolbox" goes, I prefer these softwares:
Nero for audio cd burning and data cd creation. Its not the most user friendly, but it does everything you'll need and more, and is quite good to use and is well known.
Support for nero if you require it.
Clonecd for backing up games that are copy protected.
EAC for ripping cds with the highest of quality.
Here is our complete article list with lots of good information to read up on.
Here's a good one on finding the right cd-r media for you.
Another one on cd burn quality vs. burning speed.
This article has a good overview of many of the technologies and terms you will encounter when burning cds.
If you should have any further questions, don't hesitate to use our http://club.cdfreaks.com/search.php?s= and if that doesn't turn up anything, don't be afraid to ask. Welcome to the forum:cool: