Only based on personal experience, but I had great results with the m-audio 2496: however it's an older card so don't know if it's still in production!! They're also pretty slow in releasing and updating drivers, which is worth bearing in mind when researching. If you're after a stop gap and just starting with digital/PC recording, you may want to checkout http://www.asio4all.com/
which installs an asio driver on your existing soundcard which means you can control latency issues on recording and playback. Not perfect but it's free.
Hope this helps,