Once the CD's are ripped and encoded it's a helluva lot easier to access the songs. Will save a lot of time in the long run if you are one to listen to alot of songs in one sitting.
And sure, let's keep the legal semantics out of this. RIAA would have any ripping and encoding illegal anyways (and have us pay every damn time we listen to a song), even though it is perfectly legal now.
Just find a nice box and keep the CD's in their jewel cases in a dark, cool place. You'll still need the originals when another better audio format comes along. Heheh, I'm sure I'll rip and encode all my stuff in .APE and then find a portable player with digital out and FLAC support only. Or vice versa.
That's the only way I can see having to re-encode. That or another lossless format that sounds just as good that is a better compression. Or sounds better than a WAV file.
But, I'm primarily concerned with having a convenient and high end head-fi system for my home. With the RME PAD, I can have my cake and eat it too.