At the turn of the year Creative announced a new next-gen sound card meant to fix all of the problems reported with previous X-Fi iterations. Set for a March release, the determined time came and went and no further mention was made by the company about its new products. Having hounded the firm I was told there would be further news "in a few weeks" a couple months back, and yup, nothing happened. Contacting Creative yesterday, I was finally told, "they will be released in Fall 2010. The wait will be worth it."
So there you have it, a leap in sound quality may occur this Fall.