I wouldn't use any EMU soundcards, I'm certain they are all UNBALANCED which you should stay away from.
Ten years ago I think your suggestion would have been more valid than it is today. Back then buying a card with balanced ins and outs assured the purchaser that the card had OTHER quality issues built into it's guts.
The other long-standing recommendation has been to never buy a sound card that was doing all of it's work inside your machine. Get one that does the A/D and D/A conversion work external to the computer case, away from the electrical noise.
The original question came from someone apparently setting up their "first real studio" for home use. He/she may be ready to establish not just a quality studio, but an extraordinary studio.
In my set-up the longest cable run is from the sound card to the powered speakers and does not exceed 10 feet. My mic-to-preamp-to-sound card is maybe 4 feet plus 3 feet. For those who are setting up their first rig, or slightly upgrading a really primitive set-up, I offer the suggestion that a card with unbalanced ins and outs may serve your current needs and dreams VERY WELL. I find that ambient room noise far exceeds any electrical flotsam that may exist. A bit of gating and a bit of noise reduction puts noise levels down at -80 or -90. So if I go spend $400 to $700 on a new balanced card what do I get? -93?
Check the thickness of your wallet and buy in your comfort zone.