Glad to hear you're back in business. I wouldn't worry too much about going out and buying a CD Burning app other than the one that came with the burner untill you've got that one figured out. I wouldn't even bother to upgrade it to the "Deluxe" or "Full Featured" version, as it no doubt asks you to do when you start the app. The "Comes With" versions pretty much do all a beginner is going to want to do. If after you're comfortable with the basics, you find the restrictions limiting, or preventing you from doing something you want to do, then go ahead and upgrade or migrate to a different app. Nero is good, richly featured, well supported, and is fine for just about a helluva lot more than most folks will ever find to do with it without upgrading. I like Roxio
stuff; I've been using and upgrading it for years and I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I wouldn't say its better than Nero, just slightly different. Heck, you'll prolly find no need to upgrade from the original packaged version, really. As I said, it'll do everything that most folks want to do right the way it came out of the box. Advanced features don't make much sense if they don't do anything for you.
Oh, and invest in a few CD-RWs to practice with before you start turning CD-Rs into coasters and frisbies. A mistake on a RW is just a mistake. Erase the disk and try again. A mistake on a Write-Once disk is a wasted disk.