This is mentioned in Fruit Bat /\0/\'s link, Audacity from Sourceforge click here is a neat and clever little audio editing programme. I works a bit like a cut down Adobe Audition and Audacity is free.
The easiest programme to rip CDs to either WAV or MP3 is Real Player. Lots of people don't like Real Player because it likes to put additional software on your system but if you un-tick all the boxes you don't want, it shouldn't be a problem, it isn't on my machines at home or work.
In options you can change the file format (WAV, MP3 Real Audio etc) and the bit-rate, in MP3, I use 224Kbps.
I would choose WAV for editing purposes, and then burn it back to CD.
An alternative to Real Player is Audiograbber which certainly does MP3 and I think also WAV. It also does not appear to contain spyware. click here