Okay I do some sound work, nothing really serious since I sux at PC production hardcore
Soundblaster are popular for a few reasons. Gamers cannot hear a difference between a soundblaster and a good card, good reliability rate and easily compatable.
For production and recordng you should look into pro level cards. You also dont need surround sound for production of music.
Take a look at the m-audio audiophile 2496. 1 in 1 out and real MIDI and not a joystick port, plugs dirrectly into your keyboard