Apple just released iTunes 4.9, along with their price reduction on the 1GB Shuffle and merged iPod/iPod Photo line (and likely new iPhone next week). See the new hardware changes mentioned in other threads, but wanted to bring to others attention iTunes has also been updated.
For those like me, who had issues playing cds in itunes (drive acting weirdly, long startup times and all that), all these issues are gone in the latest release (as mysteriously as they originally appeared, I might add).
I had no problems in itunes 4.7 or 4.8 but lots of major problems in 4.9 (ipod synching freezes, itunes library permissions corrupted, itunes won't quit normally, etc.)Apple tech support has not been helpful so far.
My recommendation is to watch the usual places such as macfixit and the apple support discussion forums until the 4.9 issues are sorted out.