You should not keep us all in suspense but tell us what you did differently to get LAME to compile.
As to your other point, you have not indicated what exactly you want to do with LAME, so it is difficult to make a recommendation othe than go to the LAME site
and have a look at the links for
* andromeda (PHP and ASP) Dynamically presents collections of mp3s as streaming web sites.
* cd2mp3 : (Pearl) Script which runs daGrab and LAME.
* rip (Pearl) Script for ripping and encoding.
* avifile AVI/DIVX encoder and decoder for Linux.
* Grip : (Linux) gtk-based cd-player, ripper and encoder. Supports cddb, cdparanoia and LAME.
* jbm2 (Linux) A KDE Jukebox style application for public places (bars, pubs,...)
* Krabber (Linux) A KDE ripper & encoder, can use LAME.
* Mp3Maker (Linux) A WindowMaker enhanced front end to cdda2wav/cdparanoia and lame/bladeenc.
* dekagenc (Linux) Bourne shell script for ripping, encoding and CDDB naming.
* ripperX (Linux) GTK frontend for rippers and several encoders featuring CDDB support.
* T.E.A.R. (Linux) frontend to LAME, cdparanoia and CDDB.
* xtunes. (Linux) GTK frontend for LAME, MAD, cdparanoia, cdrecord and more
From the list, you should be able to find the application which does the job you want to do, and also the one which you find most comfortable using, which looks the best to you, etc etc.
Although it is still on my todo lists, xtunes is probably the most powerful ofon the list there in terms of what it can do and user interface.