Things are looking up!
I've not solved the problem, exactly, but I have worked around most of it.
In Wine I've set the device manually, it now plays properly.
In advmane I set audio to use sdl, not alsa, it now works fine.
I'm learning to live with pulseaudio, mainly because I got my A2DP headset to connect without any hassle whatsoever.
All I have to do now it figure out the latency in Flash games (video is fine). I'm using the latest 64 bit Flash 11.
It is a big change, and wasn't exactly welcome, but I have managed to walk myself through most of it