Boards with Sata 3 and USB 3.0 have been flooding the market so fast that it's hard to keep up. We've tested Sata 3 and USB 3.0, and the results have been pretty sweet. Especially with USB 3.0 running as fast as a lot of internal hard drives that we've seen. The board prices have been pretty reasonable but until now Asus has limited the boards to high end models, hence higher priced boards. The Asus P7P55D-E Pro is almost an exception to the pricier Asus offerings. Hitting the $200 price range, it's a little more than some people would like to pay but the board extrudes quality and overclockability so the price is justified.
One of the problems of new technology for vendors is offering it cost them a lot of money because of component and redesign costs. Utilizing a PLX chip to keep the PCI-E bandwidth intact for graphics enthusiasts was a bold choice on Asus's part. While other vendors boards support USB 3.0 and Sata 3 most use the PCI-E bandwidth that video cards need to get the bandwidth needed for the newly implemented interfaces. That wasn't good enough for the Asus crew and they used the PLX chip to combine PCI-E lanes to get the bandwidth and leave the graphics PCI-E bandwidth intact. That makes the Asus lineup of P55 boards the board of choice for graphics enthusiasts, especially those that run multiple GPU configurations.