How to stop iPod Syncing?

I'm thinking of buying an iPod classic (the new 120 GB version) to start loading up with most of my CD's, using Apple Lossless compression.

Trouble is, my laptop only has a 30GB HDD, so as I rip CD's to iTunes and then transfer to the iPod, I will need to delete them from my laptop or rapidly run out of disc space. (I will backup my rips to an external HDD for safety!)

Of course, when I connect the iPod to the laptop later to add/change anything, it will try to sync and find none of the tracks on the computer, and I assume will try to delete them from the iPod; can I tell the ipod NOT to sync when I connect it, but just let me transfer or delete things like the old fashioned "Drag and drop" technique?
Double click on the ipod icon on the desktop. A setting window pops up. In your iPod "settings menu" just tick the box "manual synch". That means you always have to/can tell the iPod what to synch and what not.
Good luck!
Why not rip directly to an external HD and use it for music only? Tell iTunes where to look for your library (Edit > Preferences); then you'll save an extra step.

Then follow Aida_w's advice.

Extra advice for free : ) Save for 2 HDs - always have a backup because they DO fail!!!
This isn't an answer to your question, just a suggestion, but considering how much trouble you'll be going through to manage the music that way, you might consider buying another external hard drive of the same size as your iPod's drive and storing your complete iTunes library on it rather than on the laptop drive.

You should be able to find a decent 120 Gb USB external for around $75, less if you're patient and look for online specials.