Heres the thing: In 4 months I will be going off to college, and I am getting a MacBook which I will use as my primary computer (I can take it to classes, use it around campus, etc) and religate my sig rig to a game station. Since I dont plan to be using it as much in the fall, should I just for get about the X-Fi and buy a nice stereo, or should I use my computer as my stereo? If so, should I keep the X-Fi and mod it, or would I be better off buying a new sound card?
M-Audio makes some nice affordable units that don't have mic preamps or any of the other production-oriented features that you probably won't need.
EMu also has a nice USB unit. this one does a little more than you'll probably need, but would accomplish great sound output nonetheless.