I like their soundcards
I haven't owned a Creative Labs card since the nForce motheborads first came out... and even before the nForce motherboards, my sound cards were "Windows 98 era" purchases.
Sound Blasters were great in the DOS era. In the Windows 9.x era they totally sucked because, as others have point out, buggy and bloated drivers.
I'm not dissing their hardware engineering, nor their innovations in audio technology. But their drivers have caused many a system crash. Granted, since 2000 / XP is way better at handling crashes than 9.x, the issues got better, but they still suck because of the bloat, IMO.
As someone else said, as soon as on-board audio got "good enough", Creative Labs pretty much became irrelevant. There is zero justification (IMO) to spend an extra $100-$200 on a device with crap drivers that might gain an extra 3% fps in a game... especially when most people don't run more than 2 speakers. And now with Shitsta... you lose some of the features (Although I think they came up with a work around).
If I were to spend the cash on a sound card today... I'd probably buy one of those new ASUS things. But I really can't see the justification over on-board... even with 5+ speakers plugged in... other than a couple of extra FPS. It's just not worth it to me, I guess.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!