I'd say you were doing great with your X-fi, up until you got a recon3d. Those cards are pretty naff
My recommendation would be to try and source a pci-express x-fi card if you can (they're hard to find but worthit in my opinion). Only if you're used to the output from X-Fi's and want to do more gaming than anything else. But most definitely ditch the recon3d and forget you ever bought it.
If you're serious about headphones *not headsets* then look into picking up an Asus Xonar Essence STX. It's got spdif out for dolby digital. The sound quality is fairly untouchable by other cards. This can drive just about any headphones with ease and sounds utterly superb.
If you want analogue surround I'd look at something like the Xonar D2X as that has the extra 3.5 jacks.
As for headphones, mostly depends on taste, (and budget). My preference is the AKG K702's mostly for gaming as they have super crisp top-end and really help with positional audio as they have a lovely wide sound field.
If you prefer something a little bassier then the Beyerdynamic DT770 (closed) or DT990 (open) may be for you.