How to stop iPod Syncing?

I'm thinking of buying an iPod classic (the new 120 GB version) to start loading up with most of my CD's, using Apple Lossless compression.

Trouble is, my laptop only has a 30GB HDD, so as I rip CD's to iTunes and then transfer to the iPod, I will need to delete them from my laptop or rapidly run out of disc space. (I will backup my rips to an external HDD for safety!)

Of course, when I connect the iPod to the laptop later to add/change anything, it will try to sync and find none of the tracks on the computer, and I assume will try to delete them from the iPod; can I tell the ipod NOT to sync when I connect it, but just let me transfer or delete things like the old fashioned "Drag and drop" technique?
Why not rip directly to an external HD and use it for music only? Tell iTunes where to look for your library (Edit > Preferences); then you'll save an extra step.

Then follow Aida_w's advice.

Extra advice for free : ) Save for 2 HDs - always have a backup because they DO fail!!!
This isn't an answer to your question, just a suggestion, but considering how much trouble you'll be going through to manage the music that way, you might consider buying another external hard drive of the same size as your iPod's drive and storing your complete iTunes library on it rather than on the laptop drive.

You should be able to find a decent 120 Gb USB external for around $75, less if you're patient and look for online specials.
Yeah these guys are right, you are crazy not to get an external drive, unless you consider your labor worth less than 50 cents an hour. Your music is not backed up on the ipod and you can't get it back out without buying a program like ipod liberator. If you rip your music to a hard drive in lossless it will be safe and can be copied once you start to see how nice it is to have all your music available at the touch of a button.
I had the same problem -- a 120GB iPod and smaller internal HD. I agree that an external HD is a good answer. I got a small portable one which is convenient (and you store other other files in different folders). But I had some trouble figuring how to setup my iTunes library on an external HD until I found a guide on's 201 iPod tutorials. Here is the link: It works like a charm.
Thanks for all the quick answers; sounds like I can do it without too many dramas.

Thanks Srburner for the link, that was exactly what I was after!