My personal opinion is that for a real plain DOS PC my choices are a bit based on the games.
Older games support
Soundblaster 1.x or 2.0 MT-32
SB Pro or GUS + GM or MT-32
and the latest DOS games
SB 16 or GUS + GM (maybe native support for AWE32 f.e.)
So the decision goes towards a third party card with a codec that supports SB Pro and a GM solution, either by additional wavetable or integrated.
Still SB 2.0 with GM and a optional GUS is also fine. Games that really support 16 Bit playback usually also support GUS. So I tend to go for a GUS before I go for a SB16 as 16 bit digital playback solution.
There are of course other details, like games that use 16 bit playback are usually the ones that use tracker music, that has to be mixed by the CPU on a SB16 instead, eating up performance while having worse quality at the same time.
Despite of this most games use 8 bit / 11 kHz samples anyway, so the main question is just, if they also use Stereo playback.
So SB 2.0 compatibility just removes that crack on playback start that appears on a SB 1.x and only if SB 2.0 is supported.
Some probably miss the AWE32. For utilize the AWE32 in DOS as GM device you have to have some windows running. This allows you to load a SF and enables GM emulation. So for me the AWE32 is strongly targeted to be used in Windows (3.1 or 9x) and has limited capabilities in plain DOS.
So in my opinion a more useful setup would be something like a Aztech Sound Galaxy (SB Pro, OPL3) with a Wavetable board. For 16 bit digital add a GUS or SB16 or AWE32 (which is basically a SB16). Alternativly choose a third party card that has some 16 bit playback standard as WSS. Newer codecs as the CS4236 have this feature included.
With a plugged Wavetable board most boards still allow to plug an external GM Synth, so this is no limitation.