Hi, you can use a programme called sharepod to download music to your ipod without syncing it to I tunes which can be annoying. I use sharepod myself and it is very useful. Remember to read all the instructions first before using the software. The link is provided below.
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Unfortunately Apple products are very proprietary, and Apple works very hard to keep people from using other software. I've seen several programs that you can purchase from places like Best Buy that replace the iTunes music software, but using that software will leave you unable to sync any applications or software updates. Good luck!
The iPod CD is just the programs neccesary to run an iPod. You can download these programs for free at apple.com/downloads by downloading itunes, it will make available the programs to run the ipod by plugging in the ipod to your computer.
You Itunes purchases have to be restored to the hard drive as well. Otherwise you will have to repurchase them. Itunes doesn't allow you to copy your purchased songs from your Ipod into the library on your hard drive. You can play them from Ipod as long as you enter you Itunes account information. Make sure your Ipod is set to manually manage music or you will wipe out the songs.