I take our HP Athlon 64 laptop running Cubase. I buy a Serial ATA card (around $65) to plug into the Cardbus slot. I attach that card to this four bay Serial ATA RAID box at $170. Now, I've got mirrored disk storage, plus the ability to hot swap drives if I need to. Add the MOTU 896HD interface (at around $1000) with eight channels of lightpipe in (to use with the Octopre), two channels of AES/EBU (to use with the Gold Channel), and eight channels of its own analog mic-pre (just in case) for 18 channels of input, plus built-in cue mixing and headphone amp.
That ought to work.