Well, so far I\'m having good luck with the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. It sounds fine and has SP/DIF and analog I/O. You can get latency down to 336 sampples, about 7 milliseconds at 44.1 kHz. The GSIF driver is fine in Win 98SE. You also get a midi interface with it.
If you\'re just looking for a pair of analog and digital stereo outs on an inexpensive card, you MUST look into the Echo Mia. I\'ve been using it for about a year now with both 98 and XP with absolutely no problems from day one. I have the latency set extremely low with Giga and I have never experiences pops or clicks, even with memory filled up to 60-70%. It has 8 virtual outputs, so I also run some VSTi in Cubase SX... I can only imagine how efficient this card can be running Giga only! Oh, and the analog jacks are 1/4\" *balanced* on the card itself.
The price currently is around $300 CDN, so you\'re looking at $160-170 US. It\'s a great little 24-bit card. Highly recommended!!
Well, I was messing with my Ego Systems Waveterminal 2496 and discovered it didn\'t like anything less than 512 samples of latency. It might be different in an up to date system (this was in a 700 MHz Athlon). I haven\'t tried loading down my Audiophile 2496 yet. I do know my Logic system with the RME Dig96/8 PST is rock solid and never clicks or pops at 64 samples of latency (1 Ghz Athlon system).
The issue of latency is important if you want to perfect your performance virtually before commiting to audio.