Seeing that we have an informed group of PC audio enthusiasts on this forum I thought this would be the place to start a list. Since the general public only knows about Creative a list of competitors would be nice. So pllease list viable Sound Card competitors on this thread. Thanks!!
Above is actually a pretty comprehensive list for most consumer requirements.
If you are into PC Audio recording and not gaming, then you may need something more specialised.
Cards such as the Echo Mia, E-Mu 0404/1212M, M-Audio Audiophile series/Delta series, if you want something cheap (they range between £50-200 depending on spec).
However, if you are serious about recording then you might want to research and spend a little more. Personally, though, I think that £150-200 is a good price point for something that offers great ASIO recording with an external breakout box w/preamps and XLR input. Alternatively you can get a decent card and run your mics etc into a mixer before the card inputs - then you don't need the breakout box w/preamp.
If you want to spend a little more for more inputs, then its the venerable Echo Layla or M-Audio DELTA 1010 for under £300.
If you have the budget to spend more than £300 on such a solution, then you should have enough recording experience to not need any more input from me