I recently purchased myself a Logitech G35 "7.1 channel surround sound" headset. I am now starting to notice that my EVGA 790i Onboard (realtek) audio just won't cut it anymore. I am not looking for criticism of logitech or the G35: I need to know what sub-$200 sound card would be good. Right now, I am running the 64-bit edition of the Windows 7 Release Candidate (i.e. compatibility is a HUGE factor). I heard that Creative is known for difficult setup, so unless an outstanding amount of people say otherwise, I would like to rule that brand out.
USB headsets do not use the onboard chipset or a soundcard; they have their own drivers and their own audio processing unit built right in. You could get the best soundcard on the market (HT Omega Claro) and not see any difference whatsoever in quality.