Been a while since I had issues like this. First most of my experience is with scsi and since most sata devices use the scsi kernel interface to communicate thats where I will start from.
What output do you get from the command ' cat /proc/scsi/scsi '?
Is there any /dev/scd*? This would be the logical block scheme to me.
Did see some search links from http://www.google.com/linux
that mention sata cd-dvd not well supported yet. You google around there and see what pops up.
Lets start there for now.