Any PCI SATA controller based on a Silicon Image SiL3512 chip should work fine, at least if it has BIOS version 188.8.131.52. OTOH I haven't been able to get optical drives to boot from any controller based on the VIA VT6421A chip.
Converter cards vary in compatibility, but I've had good luck with the current version of this one, which works for both SATA and PATA drives (must use power connector in either case). Its only drawbacks are that it's poorly labelled (with PATA drives, use the SATA connector closest to the white power connector for the controller), the PATA socket is easy to plug in wrong (plastic body is too small), and the soldering is sloppy. It's normally $5, delivered but is occasionally offered for just $3. I think it uses a Jmicron chip. The ones from 2009 used a bigger SunPlus chip, which didn't like anything except PATA hard drives, but by early 2011 all the bugs were fixed in that chip. Some PATA-SATA converters come in a nice plastic case, but that can be a drawback because it can make them too thick for PATA motherboards, especially if you have to use 2 of the converters at once.