Recording lp's and tapes to cd

Boy am I confused. I have a compaq pc with an ess allegro pci sound card. I feel like Mark Twain in his essay on cold remedies. I've been told to get an audiophile sound card from digital connection (M24/96) with a built in a-d converter. Also just get musicmatch juke box software, my present card is good enough. Also just get a cd recorder from a music store and forget the computer. All I want to do is make cd's from records where they will not be likely to be re-issued. Also is recording lp's different from cd's. Can I just cue up my source and let it rip?
My experience has been that with a reasonable PCI bus sound card like yours, you can get good results recording lp to cd. I have heard that better sound cards give a better recording, but better is way more costly, and my results with an inexpensive card have been very good. I would definitely recommend not to record directly to cd, but instead: 1. record to your hard drive, 2.listen to the result and make sure you have what you want (no overload distortion, etc.), 3. when you have copied all you want for a cd, then copy from hard drive to CD burner.

I use the free downloadable version of "audiograbber" to record, and then the ezcd creator that came with my burner to copy to CD. This scheme allows easier tailoring of what goes on the CD and I avoid problems of doing a straight copy to CD and running out of room on the CD before the end of the record.

Good luck and good listening.