After a series of upgrades, I found myself without sound on my laptop. I've always found ALSA to be a bit quirky, but this was getting annoying. After fiddling with various kernel options, I remembered I could actually google for the answer. I saw this forum post. In 20 seconds I had sound again. I don't know why those settings should matter, but apparently they do. So now I'm back to grooving to my mp3s while I code. Life is happy again. Just another reason I need to upgrade to a powerbook.