yes, just compile sound support into the kernel do not include alsa (or OSS), after the compile install alsa from source.
About getting the 5.1 to work.. check out the alsa page. http://www.alsa-project.com
and pick you card from there.. it should tell you if 5.1 is working with that card or not.. or how to get it to work
btw.. the kernel includes 1.0.2 latest version is 1.0.3
EDIT: also, on sound cards.. alsa is updated regaurly.. so compiling it staticly into the kernel.. you are stuck with a kernel recompile to upgrade alsa, so I would make all that stuff modules if you are going to include it in your recompile.