Can anybody give me some advice for a good audio interface (external) to purchase. I am obviously looking for one myself, I just would like some advice from people who are more experienced than myself.

I want something which has several mic inputs (XLR), but if it only had one it might not be the end of the world. I want it to have preamp for the microphone and such, and a USB connection.

Basically I just want something fairly cheap which I can use to record into Cubase with a microphone. Budget is around the region of £150. Any recommendations ?
There is poetry in despair.
Sound cards and Audio interfaces:

Most interfaces have XLR inputs and on board preamps for mics.
but overall firewire interfaces are the best way to go...

for $300 USD you can get a nice interface and if you are using a desktop computer you can always add a firewire jack to it.
Well it will also be for use with a laptop, so I really don't want firewire. It needs to be compatible with Vista though, a couple of the ones I have looked at aren't. For example, the Tascam U144, or whatever it's called
There is poetry in despair.
I am using an Alexis Multimix with firewire which gives you 12 inputs. Firewire can be tempermental and you need a fast computer. I actually use its digital SPDIF output most of the time as its much more reliable than getting the firewire "fired up" for recording a single channel to my PC via SB Live card.

As long as you only want to record one voice or instrument at a time you can stay pretty cheap. For most, that is all you need. But if you want to do some live performances then you would need a mixer at least as good as this one. Check my profile and you will see some examples using this mixer.
Thanks for the advice, but I said I didn't want firewire. Nor do I want a mixer. So why say it?
There is poetry in despair.