Quick guide Edit
If you are more like a hacker, you could install ivman, which is more powerful, and allows you to configure various tasks to be done when events happens in your computer.
Older solutions like automount and magicdev can also be used, but they all have some limitations.
Submount is a kernel module, so you can install it with virtually any 2.6 kernel (even 2.4). It is similar to supermount, it will mount your devices and unmount automatically.
More advanced, it can be set to run a command when a particular event hapends in the system. Usually used to auto-mount devices, it can now be used to run any command when the laptop shuts down, when you insert a particular cd, etc...
Automount don't mount your folders unless they are used, so ls wil not work unless you do first a cd. You cannot use paterns for this files like ls /home/e*. pwd return a random path. After 10 minutes, the directories are unmounted, so you might have problems fo write/read files.
A GNOME daemon for automatically mounting/playing CDs (not developped any more - outdated)
- (en) HOWTO Auto mount filesystems (AUTOFS) - Gentoo wiki