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Presonus drivers vs. MOTU (and other similar interfaces)

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My older Presonus Firebox recently died and so I'm looking for a new interface (preferably with a bit more I/O for tracking drums, or the ability to add a module to accomplish this in the future). I've been following a few threads here regarding driver stability, and I've narrowed my search down to a few options:


- RME Babyface (very top of my budget)

- MOTU Track 16 (or Ultralite Mk3)

- Apogee Duet 2 (not enough I/O for my budget, but in the running because of the quality and we don't track drums everyday)

- Presonus Firestudio Project


Is anyone using a Presonus interface currently and can tell me if the drivers still have the quirky issues I remember? My Firebox would always produce an almost inaudible high-pitched whine when hooked up with monitors plugged in. Also, when first plugging it in, I'd get extremely loud crackling and popping for the first few seconds of adjusting the monitor volume (like a static buildup problem or something). Its just left me with a very bad taste in my mouth about Presonus interfaces, however they offer a ton of I/O for a lot less $$.


I'd like something a bit above the starter interface I had (Firebox) with some future expandability and solid drivers for about $600 or $700 ideally.

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