Almost anything is an improvement over CD Creamator. NTI is an excellent alternative. I use Padus Discjuggler. It is a bit more complicated than NTI, but there isn't much it can't do. Try them both and choose your favorite.
CD Maker, although visually appealing, has many problems. Since Roxio aquired the software, there seems to be more emphasis on appearance rather than functionality. Almost everyone who had used it for any length of time eventually becomes frustrated with the number of coasters it produces. I also used it when I got my first burner, but within a few months, I was looking for something more dependable. Nero was excellent thru the 5.0 series, but at this point is having bug problems, and is releasing updates almost weekly, it seems. Anyway, if CD Creator works for you, great. But there are better, more dependable software out there.
I've been creating CD's for a few years and the main problem everyone has is there is not one software that will do everything you need... I use CloneCD, CDRWin and Nero... You might want to try using the new Nero Express... I have it, and the interface is great and with a few clicks of your mouse, you have a new CD...
I must be the odd one out! I use CD Creator Platinum 5 with absolutely no problems at all.
Roxio used to have a complicated array of patches with oddball instructions to fix EasyCD for WinXP compatibility. Now they have ditched that for one simple upgrade that can be downloaded from their site that you just run after installation.
I can honestly say this has totally improved its stability and performance.
I tried various other CD burning software, and I find them either too complex, too quirky or they just don't seem to get along with my particular burner.