I have ripped many, many CDs in iTunes over the last 2 years without error correction, and never had a single problem... until last week. One album ripped with the same small skip in part of one song every time, but it went away when I enabled error correction. So it's unlikely to make that much of a difference, but you should definitely turn it on. It does slow down the rip a bit, but unless you're ripping directly to WAV, have a slow CD drive, or have an insanely fast processor, the limiting factor is probably the conversion anyway, you shouldn't notice any slowdown.
The big reason people will tell you not to use iTunes for encoding is that its mp3 encoding is sub-par. If you're using a Mac, though, I think there's an iTunes plugin that lets you rip using LAME, which I would suggest. I personally do everything in AAC format, though, as the conversion is fast, and I don't think such a plugin exists for the PC anyway. I like iTunes for ripping and general music organization. (especially now that I know how to drive it with Python scripts when I want to do something complicated...)