Basic questions about analoge to digital ripping

Im only interested in Analage to digital (records and reel to reel 4 channel) to CD. My high end stereo has no spdif or any other digital in/out. I own a Marantz CD recorder already. (Good but looking for a PC solution that's better.)I'm looking for an external box sound system that I can use on a laptop or my desktop. Both have USB and Firewire inputs
1. I've read on this forum lots of complaints about USB glitches and ticks. Would the firewire connection be better because of its improved bandwidth?
2. I theoretically like the M-Audio Audiophile firewire version but it only has 2 RCA inputs. Is there a similar 4 channel in version out there? (I dont care about brand but the audiophile seemed to have what I need.)
3. Do I lose anything trying to stick with an external box solution vs a sound card?
4. I'm confused about output. Many system tout AC-3 and many other Dolby/surround outputs. I want straight stereo with no processing. The only multi channel I want to do it 4 channel to 2 channel (stereo mixing). I presume you can turn off Dolby and THX processing?
5. Lastly almost all the threads talk about playing music from computer to stereo using these sound systems as an interface FROM to computer TO the stereo. I would never do that and am on interested in FROM stereo (and 4 channel reel to reel) TO computer to produce high quality stereo CDs. So DACs dont interest me only A to D converters.

Im sorry my other threads missed the mark. But as I'm learning about this stuff my questions are getting more specific.
MP3 to .WAV seems illogical at best when the former is lossy and WAV lossless.
I record straight from my Turntable to reel to reel in 2 channel,then I put material directly on hard drive via my spdif stereo y connector into my stereo input of my soundcard.I keep the file in real time using full wav files,but the sound quality stays intact although they can fill up a hard drive very quickly.
I always burn only on 1X on my studios record program,and put on hard drive on 1X as well.This is very time consuming ,But the results are worth the effort.
76doublebass why would you add the extra step of recording to reel to reel when you can go from record to wave file directly?
"76doublebass why would you add the extra step of recording to reel to reel when you can go from record to wave file directly?" exactly and using an audio cd recorder does the same. Since buying an Audiophile 24/96 several yrs ago I use just that with occasional attenuation if the phono out put's too high.
Sorry I haven't responded back on this post.I had computer problems and now I'm finally back online,with a new Emachine just for internet use only.I assume that the output level would not be sufficent enough to allow that to happen.The Mv. level is very low in the phono stage as apposed to the high gain of 2 Volts going out of a CD player.
But I can understand why go thru another stage.In this case I don't think I would have a viable alternative,since I don't have a CD Recorder.