> Are usb devices a decent option for recording and
Yes. Theoretically 12MBit are enough to work with 8 channels
1 Stereo in and 1 Stereo out works great.
> Would the latency be noticable to me or
My cheap Terratec card currently runs @ 40msecs latency which is
much, but I hope to improve this one day.
I was told that other people got 10msecs on Edirol USB devices.
> Which USB devices are best wrt Linux compatibility? Is
AFAIK the Edirol devices usually work really out of the box, I
don't know anything about m-audio (except the Midisport 8x8 which
works great for me).