Hey Old Thrashbarg, welcome to the club! I was in about the exact same situation you were a couple months ago. I ended up purchasing a lot of crap that ultimately i'll never use (namely Ensoniq products-sorry Swaaye!), but I think i've finally come up with a decent setup.
I, too, bought the DB60XG from E-Bay, but I have it attached to my Turtle Beach Montego II PCI card (there's a crapton of those available on E-bay). The Montego II uses the Vortex 2 chip, which is the same as on the Diamon Monster MX300 that a lot of people have. It's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is about as good as i've seen from any soundcard of that era (it's as good or better than a SBLive). However, when you stick the DB60XG daughterboard on there, you will hear SNR feedback, unfortunately. I don't know why that is; I thought the db and host connection was all digital? Aside from that, it sounds terrific (I don't have a Roland Sound Canvas, so I can't give you comparisons, but see the end of this post for a link that can), and all the games I play, including the notorious Privateer/Strike Commander work great with it. What's also neat about the Vortex 2 is that the TSR it uses does NOT need EMM386.exe, so you can use UMBPCI.sys or nothing at all to retain your DOS Real Mode support.
Anyways, so the Vortex2+DB60XG is great for General Midi support. For digital effects, i've tried a slew of cards: SB16, AWE64, SB Live, Montego II, Ensoniq Gateway S-2000 OPUS (cow chip), and the Ensoniq Audio PCI. Both the Ensoniq cards gave me poor digital effect performance, which included a high SNR and strange crackle/popping sounds. I at least expected the OPUS to give me crystal clear digital effects, even if it did have a high SNR. Maybe Swaaye can explain this, since he's the resident Ensoniq expert. At any rate, my favorite of those I mentioned would probably be the AWE64. While the SBLive had quieter SNR, it also uses a TSR (which needs EMM386.exe) that isn't entirely compatible with all games (while sometimes the SB16 emulation is fantastic, and crystal clear with low SNR, in other times I hear pops/crackling and sometimes it just altogether farts out on me and I have to reboot). The AWE64 Value I have has very low SNR, doesn't require a TSR for Digital Effects, and offers genuine SB16 support.
A quick word though; if the only MIDI you've ever listened to is from a SB16's FM synthesis, you may want to give the time to try and figure out why you can't get your AWE64 to play MIDI. Honestly, I really don't mind AWE64's MIDI performance on games that natively support it (where there's an actual AWE32 selection in the game's MIDI cards choices during setup). It does a pretty good job, and you wouldn't have to spend $38! However, if any of the games you play are older than, say, 1994, a General Midi card like the DB60XG would suit you well, since those games won't natively support the AWE32/64. But then, why not just use DOSBOX for those games?
So, my bottomline? Use the AWE64 for digital effects, and a Montego II+DB60XG for General Midi support. However, if your game is new enough, then first try using AWE64's MIDI before buying the Yamaha card!
PS - I know there's a better site out there that has all the cards in one single table with links to download MIDI samples, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe someone else can post it. In the meantime, though, this link has some decent comparison samples:
http://www.crossfire-designs.de/index.php?lan … undcards&page=1