-If you want to run the majority of software out there you may want to look into a good CD-ROM. The CD-ROM is getting really cheap and fast. You want to look into a 32X CD-ROM or higher. Insure the CD-ROM supports various formats such as CD-R,CD-RW, and so on. Look out for brands such as Yamaha, Panasonic, and Sony. You should expect to pay at least $50.00 for a good tray fed CD-ROM in IDE format.
-Maybe you are ready to watch movies on the computer. This is a real nice feature and allows for a better multimedia experience. When shopping for one look into at least a second generation drive. Make sure that the DVD player can run CD-ROMs at at least 20x. Some DVD will also require a PCI expansion card to go along with the drive and some don't require one at all. You may be better off to have the card or at least a Video card that can handle the graphics. Expect to pay at least $100.00 for a decent DVD and upwards.
-The CD Recorder is real handy for many task such as copying files, backing up the system and so on. Now in reality it is used mostly for copying a buddies CD-ROM that you cant afford to buy yourself. Shh.. don't tell anyone! The Recorders are getting very cheap and you can pick one up for about $200.00 with no problem. When going out and picking one up you should look for at least a Recorder that can write at 2X and Re-write at 2X. Also you will need to consider the regular reading speed which should be 20X or better. There are a few good brands out there and I don't recommend going cheap on this item and buy the best you can afford. My best experience has been with the Hewlett Packard so far. They are a little pricey but dependable. The biggest problem with any of them is the software rather than the hardware. The software is a little buggy and not the easiest in the world to use.