I am in an enviable position of being able to have a system purchased for me in exchange for work that would be built to my specs. I do a lot of recording using a system that is pretty antiquated by today's standards and I really want to take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade my audio capabilities to truly put out some good professional audio. I currently use an Athlon 64 system with 3 gigs of ram and plan to upgrade to possibly a Intel Xeon or high end i7 for a processor and 6 gigs or more on the ram side. That's my THOUGHT anyway. On the soundcard side, I'm a little lost though. I currently use an E-Mu 0202 which is a pain. I want to upgrade it to something really nice like the RME Fireface UC, but wow, that's expensive. The Emu 0404 or even the 1010 with the front loading interface module (the1616m) that puts mike connections on the front is pretty nice. I just want good clean audio and a system build that can handle 24 tracks without choking. Besides the Mac proponents, any ideas?