Have you checked whether the drivers (modules)
are actually loaded and it's just a mixer problem?
I compiled the soundcard support into the kernel, so it's there for shure.
I had the similar problem on another PC, which had a SiS 7012 audio chip on the motherboard,
and it used to give the same errors, as i get now. I just compiled the right driver and it works fine now,
but the drivers for VIA in the slack package do not support this model (VIA VT8233). So I am pretty sure that the problem would be solved if I find the right driver, but so far I haven't seen anything even close to it on the net.
PS it doesn't matter wether I am root or an ordinary user, the problem exists anyway. Besides I got several users that have read-only root access, and the problem is the same.