How do I get the files from an ISO image without burning it to CD?
mount -o loop myfile.iso /mnt
You can also use isoinfo to get the files from an image, and CDemu to mount cue/bin files.
Why aren't there any MP3 encoders in Debian? I want to rip my CDs!
Software patents on the MP3 encoding algorithms make the distribution of MP3 encoders legally risky. You can get LAME and build your own Debian packages from the tarballs, or download prebuilt packages from ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/index.html. Or you can install the vorbis-tools package and encode your CDs in Ogg Vorbis format instead.
If you're looking for a front-end program that does CDDB lookups, ripping and encoding all at once, try abcde, grip or jack.