With the hardware AsusM4N78-AM and audio VIA VT 1708S 6-Channel, it should work.
What is the current situation regarding ALSA and/or pulseaudio?
I wouldn't get rid of them. You could try a live dvd and mess around so that it isn't permanent in case, you try a bunch of settings.
The Volume Control, I found that after a while, I am able to figure things out. I had a lot of trouble configuring skype and sound to work through a usb headset I bought.
So many sound/audio options are given, but only some work or channel sound through. Also, you should look for some controls being either muted or way low.