Looking good! Listen, the issue with asking is people will try to push on your what they "think" is better, so always take recommendations with a grain of salt. If you're down to the two cards though, I would say go with the Soundblaster since the X-Fi technology is theirs so why go to a reference system when you can get the real deal? As for the speakers, they are great - I used to own it and also recommended it to a friend who couldn't be happier with them! just make sure you understand that you have to set it up correctly or it will sound odd. I can explain if you need details. CIAO!