Re: better recording program?
Cakewalk, Cubase, Pro-Tools, it really doesn't matter. There is no difference when it comes to sound quality since all depend on your source, your mics, and your computer.
The only real difference is that Cubase and Cakewalk allow you more flexibility when it comes to hardware/interfaces while Pro-Tools requires that you get specific hardware to run their stuff.
All of them have a learning curve so expect to spend a little time getting used to the program but, once installed on your computer with updated drivers, none should require more than a few minutes of set-up to do regular audio recordings.
I myself use Cubase 5 and I've found it to be perfectly adequate for a home recording solution and I'd recommend the Essential version to the home hobbyist. If you're looking to get really deep into things, you might want to go with the studio version. I don't really see a need for anyone other than a professional using it for a living to own the full version of any of these.