It doesn't matter how good the hardware is Creative will still screw it up with their drivers and software. Against my better judgement I bought a X-Fi after all the issues I had with my Audigy previously. If they ever hire good software engineers then they can have great products. As of now their software is clunky and full of bugs. For example, look at Realtek. They supply a very large percentage of HD audio logic/solutions to motherboard manufacturers. The software is pretty straight forward and to put the icing on the cake they update their drivers usually every month. Creative releases a new "beta" driver for my X-Fi maybe once or twice a year.