Is USB for audio worth the hassle?

Given the various hoops that we seem to jump through just to get USB as-good-as other options is its ubiquity justified or are there really no better ways to get an audio file delivered from a computer?

Leaving aside S/PDIF from an internal soundcard for now there aren't many other options on the back of my recent PC, but how long before that changes?

Dip in and out HERE