Brand Recommendations

I was just curious as to what the good people at Tom's consider to be reputable motherboard brands. I'm looking to create a new system sometime in the future, but I like to research parts and plan out potential builds well in advance; I'm sure you can all relate to that. :) Although maybe I just have to be patient, but I really wish there was a better selection on boards with USB 3.0 and SATA III.

Anyways, the only experiences I've had are with MSI and Gigabyte. The MSI was my first build over 6 years ago, and other than the north bridge fan and onboard sound crapping out, it's still working fine to this day. My current setup is on a Gigabyte, which has no problems other than the north bridge being way too hot. I have no qualms about buying MSI or Gigabyte again, but I like to have options.

I know a lot of people sing Asus's praises, but I'm still somewhat skeptical. I remember a few years ago when I heavily browsed Newegg, that most Asus boards were having quality issues. Still, I'm sure it's fine now, and I may consider one if the price and features are right. The main ones I'm questioning are Biostar and ASRock. I've seen a few of their boards that I like, but I know nothing about them really. Are they good choices?

One final, semi-related question. What are some good chipsets? I honestly don't know anything about them. All I know is I want a solid, reliable AMD board, AMD chipset, with 2 or less PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. I don't ever plan on going Crossfire, but a lot of boards come with 2 or more by default, which are just wasted space for me.
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  1. Here is a breakdown, as I see it:

    Intel: 1) EVGA 2) ASUS 3) Gigabyte 4) MSI 5) ASRock 6) BioStar

    AMD: 1) ASUS 2) Gigabyte 3) ASRock 4) MSI 5) BIOSTAR

    As for the chipsets, I would look at either an AM3 870 or 880G, since they can be found with single PCIe setups. With that said, the best overall value to price to performance / features is the ASRock 870 Extreme3... IMO It is a dual card capable board but at a price of must good single card boards.
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