I've used the alternate CD for installing my system. When I boot from the CD, I do not see a "Live" option as in the Desktop CD. Do I really need this desktop CD for a Live session, or is it possible with the Alternate CD as well?
No, The Alternative cd - is useful for low end, or other problem systems. It does not work as a Live Desktop. It can work as a upgrade cd, which can be a handy feature. You could use its console to do some repairs also.