alright, I think I figured out this one out.
as a reference for the possible options, I've come up with what I believe I now need as a sound configuration file.
I use just the Audigy 2, no on-board sound - on-board was disabled in BIOS.
('touch sound' if this file isn't there yet)
# ALSA portion
alias char-major-116 snd
alias snd-card-0 snd-emu10k1
# module options should go here
# Creative Card wo/Digital out + LiveDrive [0x3fc3/0x1fc3]
options snd-emu10k1 id="first" extin="0x3fc3" extout="0x1fc3"
# OSS/Free portion
alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias sound-slot-0 snd-emu10k1
# card #1
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
The "option" part seems to be when it began to run properly. The card physically does not have an IDE connector, and I'm not using the digital outputs (analog speakers) - So I made a guess that this was the correct option to use. [Note : id="first" I think is related to if the system finds a second sound card, that the one for the driver above, is loaded first, before anything else that is found. Now since, I do have on-board - although it's disabled - if I ever turn on-board back on, I want to minimize trying to figure out why the sound stops working again.]
Now, upon rebooting, a message just after the alsa state restore, said "no state is present for card first". After much googling, I gave up trying to figure out what this meant, and deleted the the file 'asound.state' within /etc then rebooted again to allow the system to recreate what it thought was the right card.
From there, set alsamixer to the sound levels below deafening, captured mic and Amix (apparently slack 12.0 did need this one selected and adjusted - but my tests after I learned that still had the same result, before the above configuration was used).
Ran startx, KDE's intro music chopped like before - began to worry it didn't work. Tested a few applications (TeamSpeak, Amarok, a few games and work-related support tools - all at the same time) and it seems to be fixed.
One day, when I have more free time, I'll see which
part actually "fixed" my issue.