I'm not familiar with the portable A to D market in the context of a laptop DAW. All of my regular equipment is of the studio variety. An alternative is a portable digital recorder, but its slightly more desirable to me to have some of my PC based DAW tools on site, hence the question. A USB or 1394 interface to a windows pc software driver is the pathway I would like. If this is a less than fruitful niche, what digital recorders do the job? I'd like more than two channels. Thank you.
Go to sweetwater.com and look for computer interfaces. There are many good ones at differnt price points, depends on your budget, features, etc. you can talk to a sales engineer there and get great advice, and their prices are competitive.