Today, having a drive capable of creating CD-R and CD-RW disc's is a practical necessity. It's becoming exceedingly rare to see a new system ship these days without a CD burner of some kind. With code bloat, and continual hard drive growth, "sneaker-netting" floppy disks around stopped being practical a LOOONG time ago.
The last year has seen a quite rapid ramp-up in CD-R/RW speeds, and a significant "ramp-down" in relative cost. Today's 24x and 32x burners can often be found for less than $100. Since most of our readers build their own "rides", rather than buy retail box PC's, if your'e in the mood to build a new rig or update one, a CD-R/RW drive might be on your agenda.