Burning a CD or a DVD is such a common task that it is definitely a good idea to take some time to choose the best tool for the job. Even though most open source burning programs are nothing but frontends to cdrtools and the like there are huge differences between them. For example, some of them even will not work properly when run as non-root.
K3b looks very promising from the beginning as it does automatically detect the CD or DVD drive. Upon startup the program asks which kind of project you want to create. Like with many other burning programs, the main window is split into one part showing the contents of the local filesystem and another displaying what will be written to the medium.
Creating an audio CD
Creating audio CDs is very convenient as K3b accepts almost every input format (including OGG and MP3). A minor annoyance is that a single click will already mark a track for burning, which makes selecting multiple files from the same directory rather difficult.
Burning CDs or DVDs is very straight-forward as all you have to do is to click on the "Burn" icon and confirm the default options. While this makes K3b very user-friendly it also allows to tweak any imaginable option. For the truly brave it is possible to tune the parameters of the backend tools like cdrecord.
K3b offers many other features like ripping and cloning CDs or including CDDB information. Even project types as exotic as Video CDs or eMoviX are provided. Only audio editing is virtually non-existant. Although you can split tracks or set index marks, there is no way to listen to the part of the track you are editing.
Since K3b relies on cdrecord for writing data, it is affected by the recent license change of cdrecord. While the future of open source CD and DVD recording is in a state of change at the moment, K3b should be largely unaffected. Its modular design ensures that it can use any tool that will emerge out of cdrecord's remains. In fact, it already works with wodim, the Debian fork of cdrecord.
K3b is an excellent tool for creating all sorts of DVDs and CDs. It is very easy to use but also offers enough advanced features for experienced users.