I haven't tried the burn:/// gnome way. But cdrecord is really easy once you get it to work, which shouldn't be hard.
We should be able to get it going though, can you do a couple of things for me. Can you please (as super user) cat your grub file...
on your kernel line you should have something like.....
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi
That last bit 'hdc=ide-scsi' is really important. If it isn't there, add it in.
After you boot up jump to a terminal screen again, and as super user (root) type cdrecord -scanbus and press enter.
It should list the CDRW and give you the device number, something like....
0,0,0 0) 'ATAPI ' 'CD-R/RW 16X10 ' 'G.CJ' Removable CD-ROM
That is mine, which is device 0,0,0
Let me know what you get.