Dicko, just re read the part where you say you have problems sometimes with Cubase?
We used Cubase ess 6 for a time with the 2496 (W7) and found it a fussy ***ch!
You might give Reaper a shot? I know learning a new DAW is a PITA but it will cost you nothing to try and there is an immense amount of help for Reaper on the webby.
Those SSL boxes look good in the latest mag'. I'd be very torn though twixt those and the MOTUs?