Here is one suggestion:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ISA-16bit-Sound-Card- … 7sAAOxyM89ScNRl
Real Yamaha OPL3, ISA so good compatibility, SBPro2 compatible, excellent sound quality, no hanging note MIDI bug, and MIDI header.
I disagree with the suggestion of a SB16 or SB Pro.
...the AWE32 is your best bet. It has... and all the features of the SB16 and SB Pro
The AWE32 DSP is just as buggy as the SB16, has less chances having a real OPL3, and the on-board MIDI implementation sounds like poop.
If one plays mostly older DOS games a SBPro is the way to go with an additional card for MPU-401 and Wavetable capabilities.
The Yamaha YMF71x mentioned above by clueless1 is the way to go if one desires all features in one card without much hassle.
Fantastic value for newcomers who want it all without spending arm and leg hunting for rare and specific Creative cards.
I don't know what AWE32 you've been using, but mine has stellar MIDI functionality. The CQM synth is not bad whatsoever, and I bet if I gave you CQM synth music and labled it as real, you probably couldn't tell the difference.
And I have rarely come across DOS incompatibility, except when using AWEUTIL, and in Windows where the sound emulation is much better, it has very few bugs to speak of.
ONE thing I have noticed, like with LGR's 486 build, is that his sounds a lot worse than mine. I don't know if mine has extra reverb, but it sounds fantastic. Here's a recording of Passport.MID on my AWE32.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tzwb0hhbyv8i6gf/Pas … tAWE32.wav?dl=0
It sounds pretty damn good. It's no Sound Canvas, but for my 40 bucks that's a pretty big bang.
Here it is with it's onboard CQM synth.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xmljmgob91gped3/Pas … ortOPL.wav?dl=0
It sounds fine to me, the MIDI version is far superior, but it's not BAD as you make it out to be.