(add a mixer with preamps or separate preamps). The Mixer
MAudio Audiophile 2496
M Audio's Audiophile 2496 card is the latest addition to its highly successful Delta family of soundcards. The Audiophile 2496 is an all-in-one high fidelity soundcard solution for a wide variety of applications, ranging from multi-track recording to computer-based home theatre. Tweak: Add a mixer, Good budget card. A decent Mixer for this card it the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB Has the alt3-4 bus you need. Avoid mixers without this bus! (i.e., don't go cheaper.. you may regret it). If you have to stay under 200 for both then instead go look at the Tascam USB 2.0 interfaces that don't need a mixer.
M-Audio Delta 1010LT 24-Bit 96kHz PCI Card
The 1010-LT offers the professional performance required by today's most popular software programs, and provides you with features like 24-bit 96 kHz recording, zero latency monitoring, and digital mixing. Tweak: When you need more i/o and will add a mixer with lots of busses, direct outs, or sends, this is a super value. A good mixer for this card is the Mackie 1642VLZ3 or equivalent. Great for a person with a couple of keyboards, a few mics, guitars.
M-Audio Delta 66 Audio Interface
The Delta 66 was designed for the person requiring an audio card with professional features and performance, but with a price tag well below that of typical pro gear. Tweak: A good Mixer is the Mackie 802VLZ3 Good system for the songwriter composer. Also good for Jammin' with a friend
See my PCI interface chart
FireStudio Mobile FireWire Audio Interface
Finally, a new-generation, studio-quality FireWire interface that you can use anywhere! The PreSonus FireStudio(TM) Mobile combines the superior analog-circuit design and advanced platform technology of our acclaimed FireStudio rack-mount interfaces with the ability to run on bus power in field applications. Now you can have enhanced audio performance for music recording and creation anywhere you can lug your laptop! Tweak: Highly recommended-Mac or PC. Lots of inputs!
Saffire Pro 24 FireWire Audio Interface
The Focusrite Saffire PRO 24 is the latest in Focusrite's new generation of FireWire audio interfaces. As with all Focusrite interfaces, Saffire PRO 24 is the best sounding interface in its class, attentively designed with recording musicians and the modern home studio in mind. Tweak: The newest of the batch shown here.
FireWire Audio Interface (Macintosh)
Duet is a portable audio interface that features the amazing sound quality that made Apogee Electronics famous. With control functions built directly into Apple's Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand software, Duet empowers you to create professional recordings effortlessly. Tweak: Mac Only! Made for Logic!
Mbox 2 Pro FireWire Audio/MIDI Interface
The Mbox 2 Pro is a portable, high-definition audio/MIDI production system that delivers truly professional sound quality. Packing an impressive variety of connection options into a compact interface, Mbox 2 Pro puts powerful multitrack recording and mixing capabilities into your hands, so you can create wherever inspiration strikes. Mbox 2 Pro also includes award-winning, industry-standard Pro Tools LE software and a huge collection of pro effects and instrument plug-ins to get you started creating right away. Tweak: A good way to start with Pro Tools LE Excellent for the DJ PTLE rig.
See my Firewire chart
Some of these are very good values. Really inexpensive too! Good for plugging in and recording 1 track at a time
Tascam US100 USB 2.0 Audio Interface
Tascam US144 MKII USB 2.0 Audio Interface
M-Audio Fast Track MKII USB 2.0 Audio Interface
M-Audio Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 Audio Interface
Tascam US1641 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface
see My USB2.0 chart