OK here is an update:
I tried using the onboard audio from my mobo, and it worked, even tho it's not that great. I'm still shooting for AUDIGY 2. I ran kudzu -p as root and it has a listing for my sound card:
desc: "Creative Technology, Ltd SoundBlaster Audigy 2 NX"
usbmfr: Creative Technology Ltd
usbprod: SB Audigy 2 NX
Shouldn't the driver be usb-audio and not just audio? I hear the choppy sound when I start the system, but if I run alsaconf, it does not detect the card, and after I cancel alsaconf when it doesn't see the card, there is no more sound period. I went ahead and disabled the onboard sound to make things simpler.
I also did lspci as root and it did not show anything related to multimedia/sound.