to control the SH-101 you could buy a small, multi-use Doeper MCV-4 for MIDI control via the 101's CV/gate inputs..
or install this MIDI converter made by Synhouse.. the MIDIJack
you might want to consider the Waldorf series before the Nord -- if it's analogue emulation you're after.
The Dave Smith Instruments Evolver is also pretty bad ass. And under $500 usually.
There's a lot of new stuff, much of which is shown at www.analoguehaven.com
[if you are serious about analogue gear] or www.robotspeak.com
Also look into the MFBerlin stuff: http://www.mfberlin.de/
Small tabletop units w/ real analogue circuitry.
I can't say that I'd recommend going with a Mackie anything but I am sure it's a little cleaner than my system [Soundcraft 24x8 + Presonus Firepod + Firestation from Mac, 4x patchbays, outboard gear]. I am pretty partial to British EQ vs. flat response Mackies [then again, you can always get a parametric eq or 3.. ]
analogue stuff will probably hold it's value much much longer than the Nord equipment , btw. Might want to consider some of the Native Instruments gear for your Virtual Analogue synthesis [I have -ZERO- V.A. hardware] and instead buy some stuff w. some real depth to it. Oberheim Matrix-1000's, Yamaha DX-100's / TX81Z's, etc..
good luck on your purchases.