Thanks I really appreciate the reply. I've got closed headphones now (Creative Fatality... (cheapos but they were well reviewed on Newegg when I got them). It looks like I'll be going for the closed set and sacrifice some of the positioning. I wouldn't be horribly opposed to moving my set up, but then I wouldn't see my fiance on most days!
From what I was reading, the A700 doesn't benefit that much from an amp, so I don't know that this feature of the STX would've mattered that much. I had a lot of driver issues with creative in the past and a lot of the reviews on newegg are negative due to driver problems with the current ones too, which was scaring me off of the HD Titanium despite it's reputation as a better gaming card. I wasn't able to find a new Forte on Tigerdirect, Newegg, or Amazon, so I was figuring that either they were having so many problems that all 3 sites pulled them, or they weren't being made anymore.
If there isn't much of a difference between a STX and a DG, is it even worth it to have a dedicated sound card? Or is there a big jump from onboard to DG?