So I went into sam ash today to get an estimate on a recording setup.

My original idea was as follows:

The tascam us-144 and a couple of microphones for 200
(or substitute the microphones for a shure 50 dollar mic)

and just store brand stands or whatever.

this comes out to 200-250

When I went in, the guy recommended me;
The m-audio fast track mobile

and a samson microphone pack (which includes cable and other stuff)

This comes out to about 300.

i have sonar-cakewalk,
a couple of midi controllers and a pc


my question is;
Which is better?
Should I trust the salesman? (He looks like a middle aged tom morello)
I don't even shred
if you have vista, the tascam might be the better choice. I just got that deal for 170 and so far I like it, though cubase has a pretty steep learning curve. M-audio often gets bad reviews for the interfaces, look at their reviews on musicians friend, they get quite a few complaints. The MXL mics are pretty good. I would use them for vocals (make sure u have or make a pop filter, i made mine) and acoustic guitar, perhaps for drum demos. I would recomend an sm57 if u want to mic guitar cabs.
I'd go with your first choice, but substitute the microphone for either the 57, Sennheiser E609 or Rode N6 i think it is. All are good for recording guitars and can also be used for doing vocals as well and other stuff.
another thing to keep in mind, salesmen usually work of commission so he may just be trying to get u to buy from the store as opposed to online, or just buy the more expensive item.

I had cubase before and it took me awhile to really get the hang of it
like a year actually but thats cause i was new to DAW's all together

But i duno...I'm kinda liking the m-audio.

tell me, how does the tascam do with midi?
I hate latency and plugging in normally usually ends up with latency.
I don't even shred
um, i havn't done anything with midi. That i don't know to much about though there is a midi in and a midi out on the back of the tascam. I havn't recorded anything with cubase yet being that i've only had this for about a week and a half, but i've recorded with kristal and i got practically no latency with it set to nomal latency (there are 5 latency choices high-low). The small latency i heard was pretty much negligible and wouldn't effect playing and recording at all.