Well, jones501 is all wrong.
- cdrtools runs perfectly on linux (better than cdrkit)
- cdrtools supports /dev-devices, it's just a bad idea to use them, better use the scsi-id discovered with ./cdrecord --scanbus (if you have only one burning capable device, you do not even need to tell cdrecord a device, it chooses by itself)
- stuck in 1997? you mean, it still supports OSs which are this old? Why would this be a negative fact?
- if you get a lot of coasters, maybe try another burner or blanks from another vendor ... AND, cdrkit does no better, in contrary it still has lots of bugs which are not present in cdrtools anymore
- UTF-8 problems? Are you sure you used a recent version (like less than 3 years old)
- well, if you have problems with the license (which is your right of course), you can use an old version of cdrecord as well, cdrkit does no better. All they fixed are some typos in the man pages