Ok to rip to FLAC then convert to AIFF?

Hi all. I rip all my CD's on a PC with EAC, with tags, then use Max on the Mac to convert to ALAC before adding it to my iTunes library.

I have done a lot of reading the past few days and have come across numerous bits of info suggesting that - whilst ALAC/FLAC are bit-identical to WAV/AIFF files, it is the decompressing during playback that can affect sound quality.

What I wanted to ask is:
1. can I use the FLAC files ripped/tagged in EAC and concert to AIFF on the Mac? Or would I need to rip straight to AIFF (e.g., using Max or XLD on the Mac)?
2. if it is ok to convert from FLAC to AIFF, does it maintain the tag information?
3. I experimented by using iTunes to convert one of the ALAC albums to AIFF and it seemed to keep the tags. Was this storing tags in the AIFF file or was it since the file information is already saved in the iTunes library/database files?

1. I don't think it makes a bit of difference. I guess the easiest way would be to rip right to AIFF using one of the Apple friendly programs. Like you, I've done both: rip to FLAC using EAC then converting to AIFF. Now, I simply use MAX to rip right to AIFF. I've noticed no difference in sound quality.
2. I don't think this process is perfect. I remember when I converted FLAC to AIFF, I had to fix quite a few things in Itunes.
3. According to some, the Itunes ripper is not as good as MAX, so I would recommend using just MAX. For the most part, Apple does a nice job keeping tags and clearly ID'ing files once there in your music library. Yet, you may have to change the name of the actually file or just within Itunes.

I'm pretty anal, so I spent quite a few hours going over my Itunes music library to make sure everything is labeled correctly. I suggest you continue to experiment and find your way.
Ever thought of using J River Media Center?

It sounds better than iTunes, and plays FLAC, ALAC, and many other file types... you can even make it look like an older version of the iTunes GUI.