I have found the CD writing facility in XP to be basic and primitive and never used it for anything other than a try out. Nero is much better so the loss of XP CD writing would be no loss to me.
Regarding backup to CD, Nero 6 has a backup program included now. I've not investigated this but it may be worth a look.
Don't give up with Nero. It has so much more to offer than what you get in Windows alone.