Note: AutoRun is supposed to be disabled in Windows XP Service Pack 2 as part of the security-focus of the upgrade.
What really annoys me the most about AutoRun, as it does the Engadget author, is the AutoRun crap that the record companies put on CDs to make it harder for me, the person who paid money for the CD, to rip MP3s from the CD. I listen to all my CDs on my iPod, so it insults me when I can't rip a CD to listen to; it's my music, I paid for it, I want to be able to listen to it in an encoded format. Boing Boing and Engadget have some of their own additional rants.
Note, there are good instructions with pictures on the Engadget site, but it does involve using RegEDIT, so be VERY careful.
Best of luck in disabling this function.