" I just tried to start xcdroast and it could not even detect the cdrom and complained about scsi emulation being enabled in the kernel."
If you have a CD-ROM then Linx supports it as an IDE device on /dev/hdc. If you have a CD-RW then Linux supports it as a SCSI device on /dev/scd0.
If you are trying to burn a CD then you have a CD-RW. You must use the bootloader (either grub or lilo) to pass the kernel a boot parameter: append="hdc=ide-scsi" The append tells the kernel to use scsi suport for the CD-RW. Then your CD-RW will appear to be on /dev/scd0 (at least that is where SuSE puts it). Make /dev/cdrom a symbolic link to /dev/scd0 and you can do your mounts mounts on either /dev/cdrom or /dev/scd0.
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.