MOTU 16A by KommanderKeen
I spent months researching Audio Interfaces for my project studio and eventually concluded that this Motu 16a was the most adaptable unit for my needs.
Plenty of analog in for my pres + potential to daisy chain additional units both from within Motu's new product range and 3rd party units.
The sound quality of an interface is a little hard to address as it's a fairly discrete part of the signal path. Musicianship, Microphones, pres and production ability all have more effect. Having said that I do feel like our studio productions have improved since buying this unit. It feels as though there's a little more depth and clarity in our recordings.
Reviews from better informed users confirm that the components are high quality.
Installation of the unit, maintenance and usage have all been very simple. I can almost forget the unit exists as it rarely needs addressing once set up. I think it's lost connection to the mac once in the last 12 months and a quick restart sorted it out.
To me it feels as though this unit can provide as good quality conversion, connection and adaptability as anything that might cost twice as much. It's certainly brought high quality multi-channel AD/DA into a price range that is (just about) reachable for small studios and home users.