Oh, no worries Fegefeuer...it's all good!
Thanks for the suggestions! As for my budget...it is hard to say as I don't know exactly what to look for. Roughly I guess would be $100 - $200 for a sound card and around $300 for a headset/phones. I'm not sure about an external DAC/AMP.
I am willing to sacrifice the headset benefit of a microphone if a pair of headphones is worth it (I could settle with a clip-on mic. or something...I would rarely use it anyways).
Like my username suggests, audiophile stuff is foreign to me...but here is what I've looked into so far (and feel free to share your opinions as I try to approach things objectively):
Sennheiser PC 363D: http://en-us.sennheiser.com/gaming-headset-pc-363d
Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/97d660ada89c32c8/index.html
Audio-Technica ATH-AG1: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/568b166395264eb0/index.html
Astro A40 2013 edition: http://www.astrogaming.com/a40-audio-system/A40-AUDIO-SYSTEM-ASTRO.html
Razer Tiamat 7.1 ("True" surround sound vs virtual surround sound. I have been told this is a gimmick...but I am not sure myself): http://www.razerzone.com/tiamat/en
Razer Adaro DJ: http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-audio/razer-adaro-dj
Razer Adaro Stereos: http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-audio/razer-adaro-stereos
Turtle Beach Ear Force XP SEVEN: http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/xbox-headsets/ear-force-xp-seven/340
Mad Lust Envy's guide.
Am I going in the right direction or should I be steered somewhere else?