The only thing I'd immediately note about the delta 44 is that the inputs don't look like they'll take a guitar/mic direct, they'd have to go through a mixer or something to convert them to a suitable level. I'd also check to see if the drivers and stuff are being kept up to date for Windows XP/Vista and preferably ASIO2 etc. (the Delta 44 is a few years old now)
Think M-audio stuff is pretty popular and reasonably priced (and the prices on some of these interfaces goes well beyond me, why I went for an emu 1212m - there again I play keyboards).
Don't know if the Fast Track from them might be of interest, plug it in to usb and just plug in and go. Or perhaps something like the Toneport 6 or the Edirol.
Think it'll be a case of shortlisting 4 or 5 and googling it, there are usually a few reviews of the kit around. Only suggested looking at Thomann as they have a decent selection online and there are a lot of country flags on the website.
I'll try and dig around a bit more and post back, don't hesitate to ask anything, might only be of limited help but I'll try.
Uri, this is simple...
If you have the money, buy a Creative Audigy Sound card with the external input box or with an Audigy DRIVE (this takes up a 5 1/4" bay and provides a crapload of ins/outs). The drive will have a 1/4" pre-amp input. This can double up as a direct in from your pedals/guitar directly. Just take your plug that normally goes into your amp and plug it into your audigy drive.
I think that there might be some cheaper solutions, but I have no idea. Try Prosound and Stage Lighting at www.pssl.com . They sell all kinds of dedicated cards for your computer for inputs, but overall, the Audigy is a better deal because then you actaully have a card that's capable of sampling your music with great clarity.
I have an audigy platinum 24/192 and a daw with a maudio audiophile card. I prefer the maudio audiophile series. It is designed for audio recording more than the audigy. The audigy pro with the breakout input and preamps or the emu 1212 with the input module are probably comparable.
Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for but i would go with something like Mbox from digidesign. There a couple of new models out with different amount of inputs. This complete HW external solution. All you plug into your PC/MAC is either firewire or USB2.0 cable. So, its pretty portable so if you chose to, you can take it with you on your laptop or whatever. Thats As long as you install the SW that comes with this package. Speaking of SW, the best part of this package is that it comes with "industry standard" protools LE SW. As far as cost range, I think its like from like $299 - $699 depending on setup and extra plugin or factory bundles...