Summary: Z87 motherboards have been the peak of Gigabyte's production. Z97 boards see a quality decrease and heavy cost-saving design choices. Choose the Z87x series if you can (Z97 doesn't actually introduce any really needed feature) and don't let their Black Board marketing gimmicky trick you.
Summary: I've been using this board for a couple months now, and haven't had any issues. It is a very sturdy board. Has a decent number of USB 3.0 and eSata ports on it. I use the onboard audio for my surround sound setup and haven't had any problems or issues with audio quality.