As an aside, you'll note that our store software is most fly. My wife Lisa spent several months writing a shopping cart from scratch that is basically designed expressly for independant record labels, because everything currently available for that purpose was a pretty brutal hack. It's an entire content management system and shopping cart suite for an indie label, and as you'll plainly see, enables us to sell digital content directly.
So we took the rather drastic step of giving the customer the entire album digitally even if he/she buys the actual CD. So the customer purchases a CD and has to wait 1 to 3 days (US + Canada) or 5 days (the rest of the world) to get it, but in the meantime he/she can still rock the fuck out of his/her iPod with the whole album.
We encoded all the albums by ripping the gold masters with EAC, then hitting the "alt--preset--standard" on LAME. They sound pretty good to me; in fact, I have a hard time telling between the master and the MP3 in some cases, on material I made myself.
I'm not going to out and offer Lisa's services to any indie label that wants or needs something like this, because she's got enough on her plate as it is. But if you own an independent record label, and want to have a conversation about what is involved, drop me a line with the "contact" button above, and I'll be happy to talk about it. I think this system is top-flight, and if every indie label had something like it, the world would be a better place for customers, that's for certain.