What makes a good motherboard for prosumers?

I am a musican who is designing my Digital Audio Workstation and I wanted some informed opinions...

Since the consumer level Athlon 1900+ XP and 512 megs SD DDR will give you top of the line performance these days...

what are the qualities that i would look for in a motherboard, considering the computer is built to actually do things
by this i mean, I don't wan to build a mainframe for the sake of building a mainframe (which is cool if you are into that) I want a tower of power to do the day to day stuff for the next 10 years (which it should suit me for if i buy top of the line stuff)

if there any reasonable qualites i am overlooking?

total ram memory -most have 3 G's which is more then most of us need
PCI slots -5 is standard which should be good... (1 video, 2x audio, 1X LAN)
IDE channels, stand is like 4 drives? thats more then i would ever use....
preferably no onboad audio/video?
what about onboad LAN? has it come of age?
USB ports?...one for the mouse....can't see more then that

all the benchmarks i have seen put most of the 266a's pretty damn close performance wise
stabilty is good i guess, so maybe an Asus, Soltek, Soyo (as recommended by TomsHardware)
I don't think i will "need" raid but maybe a few years down the line i might be happy to have it onboard

is there any other "prosumer" level qualities i am overlooking?

P.S.- and can someone explain what set the Soltek/Soyo ahead of the competition in the Review? all the 266a's benchmarked good, so is there some huge hardware advantage i am missing?

what else would be important?

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  1. Im actually looking at the Nforce right now. Seems like early driver revisions, so it could still increase performance alot. Also, it has room for expansion of any of the onboard items. Whereas, with the via kt266a you are going to have to buy video, sound, and ethernet in some cases which are going to become outdated as cards. I am looking forward to having good onboard video,sound and ethernet that will hold out on me long enough untill the nv25 comes out in 5 months :). The sound is as powerful as the CL audigy, and im sure you could always plug a soundcard into it and disable the onboard if for some reason your cranky like that ;) Eh, but we'll see wont we?

    I'm really impressed with the nVidia driver team, which is why thats where im puttin my money :)

    --DarkPhire(United Devices team : AMDZONE.com; Member name : The Collective)
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