M-Audio ProFire 610 by Victorian Needle
The ProFire 610 is very functional, very practical hardware that has everything you need on a basic level. Which makes this interface great for starting out, as well as having enough I/O so that you can upgrade around it for many years.
There is some things that could be considered drawbacks. You have to download the appropriate driver from the M Audio website to be able to get its full potential. It gives you software that makes this interface customizable and a lot of times essential. This part isn't a big of a deal as the next part as many people have access to Internet readily available. The part that may be a burden is that it is FireWire. My first computer when I bought this had the acceptable port, but my second did not and I had to buy a card just to make it work. It was crucial to buy the card because I would be spending even more on a new interface.
The converters are nice, but with interfaces in this budget range, it's obviously better to purchase an external preamp and run it into the line input.
There are 8 outputs on the back so that it can be ideal to run out into a mixer or use it for external processing. 2 line inputs and 2 preamps on the front side. Digi I/O with spdif. A whole slew of options that make it expandable to a majority of needs. Been using it for 5 years, never have had a problem.