Ok I was able to successfully install gnome-volume-manager and get it to automount my cdrom drives correctly, but only as root; I stick in a disc, it gets read, and the nautilus file browser appears with its content. This is all great, except that I can't get it to work for a regular user.
If I insert a disc as a regular user I can see the volume name, but it doesn't appear to actually mount the disc until I manually right click on the drive in nautilus and select the 'mount' option. GVM is set to defaults just like root btw.
Obviously this is a permissions related problem. Is there some group I have to add my user to? I tried the 'storage' and 'optical' groups to no avail :?
I guess it was the optical & storage groups after all. I had added the user to those groups before without any luck, but I decided to try it again and...tada! Go figure