Just made my latest music purchase and I'm so stoked on it, had to share. About six months ago I bought a fujitsu 1.12 pIII laptop. I wanted to Be able to play Reason and FL through it live. I also bought the m-audio quattro go with it, without an audio interface that supports AISO, you're not playing live, the latency is too high. Long story short. The quattro didn't work, too much bandwitth to push through the usb. So I was pretty bummed to have a laptop that didn't work.

However, Echo just came out with the Indigo Echo Type II Cardbus sound card. This little bugger is great. $99 and it sounds fantastic. 2-30milisecond latency depending on your buffer size. If you're on a budget and want to use your laptop for live work, I don't think there's a better solution out there that even comes close for the price.

The only catch is the Indigo doesn't record. So no recording guitars or vocals with it. Personally however, I wouldn't record on a laptop anyway. Seems there are lots of cool stand alone digital 8 tracks from korg and all those guys that have USB outs to just pipe the wave files onto the laptop for sequencing, (I would expect to get better recording quality for less money that way).
The other thing is the indigo has only 2, 1/8 in outs. So I run an 1/8in cord that splits into coaxial jacks into a little behringer mixer then out to the monitors, it still sounds really good.