Ok, thanks for the great replies. Here is why I was thinking the Delta 1010 might be a great solution (get ready for a really long post). First of all, the Delta 1010 uses delta-sigma AKM AK4393 dac chips, not codecs, and these feature 128x oversampling. These are supposed to be pro audio chips, and they are supposedly much better than the AKM 4528 codec used in the Audiophile, which is also supposed to sound much better than the Delta Dio 2496. Plus, it features the breakout box that keeps it away from the noisy internal computer. Also, it is supposed to have excellent analog stages and this would not be surprising considering that Midiman opted for balanced trs connections. Lastly, it uses an internal clock or oscilator that would clock the time for the audio on its own when read through the ide interface, instead of using the jittery spdif interface recovered from the source time clock which is usually full of jitter unless it is a very expensive transport. (this idea is mentioned in the follow-up to the Carddeluxe review in Stereophile which is archived at Stereophile.com if you are interested)
Moneywise, I already have an MSB Link Dac II, but I only use it with my sb live digital out because my Denon DCM-370 cd changer sounds about as good. I could sell my dac for around $200 if I decided to switch to the Delta 1010. I have seen the Delta 1010 for around $400 used and that would be much cheaper. First of all, I know someone that wrote an upsampling plug-in for Winamp that upsamples to 88.2 khz, and the mad Mpeg decoder already dithers to 24 bit so I think that this will follow shortly. The upsampling upgrade for the MSB Link Dac II costs $200, plus it needs to be soldered on to a Link II. To help the jitter problem, an MSB Link Dac really is supposed to benefit from a monarchy dip, and the 2496 version costs around $250. Other than that, I would also really need to get an Audiophile 2496 to get bit-perfect sound from my pc and that would cost another $150. Throw in the mods to get the good analog stages and you add $200, and then the power supply would be another $300. With the Delta 1010, I would get all of the advantages of the Audiophile 2496 (unadultered bit-perfect sound and coax digital out plus a great analog input for lp recording), but I would also get the option of a great stereo preamp or maybe even dd or dts capable and having both speakers and headphones connected at the same time. Then, I would get the great external breakout box and a digital in for another source's da conversion. As I mentioned an integer based upsampling plug-in has already been developed and hopefully it won't be before long that dither to 24 bit will be added to it. Windows Media Player 8 is supposed to have hdcd decoding and this eliminates the need for the $200 upsampling and hdcd upgrades. As I mentioned before, the jitter performance would be very good for audio read through the ide cable because the card has an internal oscilator that clocks the data at the point of da conversion instead of trying to recover the time signal from the jittery spdif signal from the source. This would save the cost of a $250 Monarchy Dip 2496, while still producing even better jitter performance.
So, as I mentioned, it all comes down to sound quality. The Delta 1010 has exceptional specs and sounds like it could match up very well to an Audiophile -> MSB Link Dac II with monarchy dip, upsampling, and mods. However, sound quality is never as simple as specs. So, I would appreciate any comments on my reasoning and I would especially appreciate comments on the sound quality of the Delta 1010 from people who have heard it. A comparison to the MSB Link Dac would be even better. Thanks.