I think you can solve all your problems as I mentioned by upgrading and customizing your kernel to version 2.4.21. I know this sounds awkward just to get sound working, but if you follow the guidelines fixed at the top of the board then its really not that hard, and is in fact probably easier than installing the ALSA drivers.
I had the same problem after installation (i.e. onboard ac97 sound card, but no drivers or sound support), and simply upgrading the kernel sorted the problem first try. It also allowed me to include high memory support as I had 1GB of Ram , but the default kernel only supports ~896Mb, as well as choosing the correct processor architecture i686 instead of the generic ix86.
It would also give you a chance to get used to upgrading & customizing your kernel for future use, and if you
the instructions at under the thread "Kernel compiling guide for newbies..." it really is a breeze.