I used to swear by the Live! Value cards, the series they released before the whole 5.1 line of Live! cards that had the WORST dma and IRQ sharing in the world. I loved my Live! at the time, but finally got extremely fed up with the lack of Creative's support and bought a Santa Cruz last week.
This was where my life was changed forever...well, maybe not that dramatic, but I did notice an increase in my games. It's amazing how badly a crappy sound card can bog down a system, and I never would have thought it was my Live!. I have what I would consider a mid range system on todays standards but was getting frame rates that didn't seem right. After replacing my Live! with the Santa Cruz, my games run much smoother...as much as 50% smoother, as seen in Dungeon Siege.
The only thing I own that's creative now is my Nomad mp3 player. As long as that plays MP3s, I'll be happy with it.
"Never accept small pieces of plastic instead of actual money." ~ Tycho...from PA of course