If your just wanting a SB16 (or the AWE which is just a SB16 with a EMU chip)
I'd say any Vibra or SB16 you can get at a good starting point.
Typical complaints of SB16's
OPL vs CQM
Personally I think people make this out to be a bigger problem then it really is but CQM does sound different to OPL. If your happy enough with how the SBLive is sounding in dos, I don't think you have to worry about this though.
Hanging note bug.
This only matters if your going to plug in an external midi device into the gameport or add on card like a dreamblaster. If your not doing either of these then it's a non issue.
This page has a nice write up on the SB16's Pro's/Con's and what you can expect from each card
Off that page it says the CT2960 is PNP
Question for Joseph_Joestar as I didn't know about the PNP disabling "feature" either.
Is that only with PNP enabled in BIOS or are the drivers hard coded to go detect and disable legacy mode?