The patriot wildfire 120GB is on sale at newegg for $204 after rebates. From the reviews here and elsewhere, the drive seems to be among the best.
I have a asus p6t v2 deluxe motherboard which, as far as I know, does not have a sata III (6Gb/s) controller. Is it worth buying the wildfire to use on a sata II (3Gb/s) connection? Is there a cheaper drive that I can buy which will yield the same performance as the wildfire on a sata II connection?
SATA III drives perform better on SATA II connections than SATA II drives do. This is because a SATA III drive is actually faster than the connection and hence can saturate the connection. SATA II drives generally cannot.
The standard price for the 120GB Crucial M4 (SATA III) is around $200 on newegg. I would go for that. Also, don't count on rebates. Predicting if/when you'll get a rebate is like trying to predict the weather.
Also...there are cheaper drives that will have higher performance, yes. The OCZ Vertex/Agility III is one of them. However when you're choosing an SSD, reliability should come first and performance should come second. The wildfire drives are reliable and so are the crucial drives.
I don't know. I know that there are reasonably priced SATA III cards and there are SATA III cards with decent performance, but I don't know how close you can get to both. There are other people that will know that better than me.
However, I will say that you'll still get noticeably better performance even out of a SATA II SSD. The jump from a SATA II SSD to a SATA III SSD isn't nearly as big as the jump from standard HDD to SATA II SSD. If it were me I would get a SATA III drive and try it out and then look into SATA III pci cards if you're dissatisfied with the performance.