I have a cheap, bog standard LG brand SATA drive that seems to do OK. I don't rip audio CDs very often, but last time I did (I just do "cdparanoia -B") it didn't seem to take long.
Here's my output of "cdparanoia -A" (I did this three times with similar result)
This is on Linux 3.6.5 on x86_64.
grogan@getstuffed:~$ cdparanoia -A
cdparanoia III release 10.2 (September 11, 2008)
Using cdda library version: 10.2
Using paranoia library version: 10.2
Checking /dev/cdrom for cdrom...
Testing /dev/cdrom for SCSI/MMC interface
SG_IO device: /dev/sr0
CDROM model sensed sensed: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH24LS50 YP01
Checking for SCSI emulation...
Drive is ATAPI (using SG_IO host adaptor emulation)
Checking for MMC style command set...
Drive is MMC style
DMA scatter/gather table entries: 1
table entry size: 524288 bytes
maximum theoretical transfer: 222 sectors
Setting default read size to 27 sectors (63504 bytes).
Verifying CDDA command set...
Expected command set reads OK.
Attempting to set cdrom to full speed...
drive returned OK.
=================== Checking drive cache/timing behavior ===================
[74:21.35]: 62ms seek, 0.32ms/sec read [41.8x]
[70:00.32]: 56ms seek, 0.32ms/sec read [41.5x]
[60:00.32]: 57ms seek, 0.35ms/sec read [37.9x]
[50:00.32]: 61ms seek, 0.37ms/sec read [35.7x]
[40:00.32]: 58ms seek, 0.41ms/sec read [32.8x]
[30:00.32]: 61ms seek, 0.45ms/sec read [29.7x]
[20:00.32]: 62ms seek, 0.51ms/sec read [26.2x]
[10:00.32]: 73ms seek, 0.58ms/sec read [22.9x]
[00:00.32]: 71ms seek, 0.74ms/sec read [18.1x]
Analyzing cache behavior...
Approximate random access cache size: 16 sector(s)
Drive cache tests as contiguous
Drive readahead past read cursor: 234 sector(s)
Cache tail cursor tied to read cursor
Cache tail granularity: 1 sector(s)
Cache read speed: 0.14ms/sector [94x]
Access speed after backseek: 0.71ms/sector [18x]
Backseek flushes the cache as expected
Drive tests OK with Paranoia.