I used to have a Creative X-Fi Extreme Music. Worked well but I found the drivers and the plethora of software annoying. When ASUS started offering sound cards I gave them a try and bought the Xonar DX. Love it. Stable drivers, easy interface (I'm a bit software retarted
), competitive price, and it sounds great to me. I listen to a lot of movie scores and soundtracks and loved the Xonar more than the Creative.
At the time the cheaper gamer-oriented Xonars (the DG, DGX, and the DS) weren't out yet, but based on what I know about my DX I'd say those gaming Xonars are good budget buys.