Okay, I'll fess up that my knowlege of current low-end "pro" audio is somewhat limited. I've never owned a Mackie product, my attitude about Soundcraft is based on their mid-end stuff from the 90's like the Spirit Studio (which I do indeed like) and I bought my Ramsa so long ago.
As I have looked at solutions to my dead mixer issue I have been stupifide by the dumbing down of equipment, the lack of real world logic in design and the simple fact that one can't just can't find a reasonable choice of analog products in this range.
So let's review my needs...
1. A couple of ins for computers (minimum 2 stereo)
2. A couple of mono ins for me to dangle 1/4" cables out of (minimum 2)
3. 1 monitor out
4. 2 stereo "mix" outs
5. good sound
6. cheaper the repairing trusted Ramsa (under $400)
1. No built in effects
2. Nothing made by Behringer
3. something that could be re-souced to serve another function if I end up with another project studio with a real console.
As much as I have always loved mixers I am almost tempted to try working with the Mackie Big Knob because it will do most of what I need, take up little space and have a possible use later on.
I would like to know which inputs one uses if one integrates it with a mixer. I am dreading going to 48th Street and having to deal with the "sales dudes" that seem to never be able to answer my questions but are sure I need some other thing. This is a rare thing for me to feel like I should actually check out products in person. I am rarely wrong and because I'm unsure I figure I'll hedge my bets.
Plus for shits and giggles I can make them use their demo gear to run the experiments that I wouldn't want to try at home.