I had the exact same problem. I have managed to get the CD's to rip
at 3x ` 5x by changing around some of the options.
First I configured the setup options in Grip as they explain step by step on this site:
I tried many other options such as ripping with (grip) cd paranoia and adding -XYZ to the beggining and unchecking the paranoid options, but the best configuration was the one described on the website above. I also noticed that the reason it was ripping so slow was because the CD i was ripping had a few scratches on it. I tried ripping a mint condition CD and it ripped much, much, much faster.
That may be your problem. Also I opened up a terminal window and typed "grip" to launch the program rather than going to multimedia -> sounds -> grip thru the gui. This improved performance for some reason.
I am ripping in mp3 format. If you plan to do the same make sure you have the package named lame-3.95.1-1plf.i586.rpm installed. It doesnt come on the installation CDs for licensing reasons. Mp3 is patented.
You can DL the god-dammed package at the link above.
Good Luck. If all else fails and you have Windows XP installed on another partition or hard-drive than you can rip and encode using windows and access the files in wondows thru Linux by going to /mnt/win c (Thats your windows hard drive" Linux can read ntfs!