Thanks again, Zoron
I have 2 USB 2.0 devices - an IP phone (and I didn't care for the fact it was working at low speed) and a new Xmas MP3 player, 2GB.
This one is PIA to manage at low speed!
That's where the problem is - thre are no VIA drivers for USB 2.0 besides the ones provided with SP2.
A Google on the mobo has shown no significant number of posts (I've found none, but lots of seller ads) complaining of it.
In VIA Arena and ASUS forums I found nothing also.
The unusual part is that one of the USB hubs in device manager 'has' 8 free ports...
I suppose this is the 2.0 hub that cannot be accessed (Sandra reports something similar)