From my lsusb:
From my dmesg:
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 05e3:0701 Genesys Logic, Inc. USB 2.0 IDE Adapter
When I plug in and switch on the USB DVD drive, a second 'CD/DVD Drive' icon appears in Places > Computer (this is a Desktop system with an internal DVD drive running the standard desktop Ubuntu 10.10). But when I put a readable DVD in, the drive whirrs for a bit and then the second icon disappears. It would appear that you have uncovered a bug which I have probably reproduced, except that my dmesg shows no error after disconnecting the device.
[ 1853.720028] usb 1-6: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
[ 1853.872707] usb-storage 1-6:1.0: Quirks match for vid 05e3 pid 0701: 520
[ 1853.872776] scsi12 : usb-storage 1-6:1.0
[ 1854.872121] scsi 12:0:0:0: CD-ROM HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH22NP20 1.04 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
[ 1855.121964] sr1: scsi3-mmc drive: 48x/48x writer dvd-ram cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
[ 1855.122153] sr 12:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
[ 1855.122297] sr 12:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 5
... instead of "whingeing" and making assumptions about what Ubuntu might or might not "need", why not pop over to...
Originally Posted by SebMack
... and file a bug report?
Edit: The fact that I couldn't find a relevant bug on Launchpad means that this could be an obscure bug affecting only some types of USB hardware. This is quite possible. When you consider the variables of the kernel driver, the ACPI implementation in the BIOS and the USB device's firmware, the possible permutations are endless. I'll give you an example. I have a USB SATA docking station. Works just fine with every machine and OS I have except with my Sony Vaio running an earlier version of Ubuntu (can't remember which offhand). It worked fine with the same Ubuntu version on other machines, just not with the Sony. But it worked fine with Vista on the Sony. Why? Haven't a clue and life is too short for me to worry about it.
Out of interest, what is your USB CD/DVD enclosure? I assume it was a bare enclosure when you bought it because it has the same ID '05e3:0701' as mine which is a 'Hiyatek'. But googling '05e3:0701' brought up a variety of makes all with the same ID. For example.