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VIA KT8266A + VIA VT8233A w/ AC97 sound

I have used four Linux distributions in the past.   SuSe, Red Hat, Mandrake
and Debian (Woody).   I have recently built a new machine and first
attempted Red Hat 7.3 on the machine, because I have found that out of the
box its ipchains rules form a good foundation to write additional rules on,
and its support out of the box for CD-RW and sound have been nice.   My
choice of distro most often has to do with who will be using the system and
for what purpose more than anything.  I prefer Debian on my
development/server machines, but Red Hat on machines built for other users
for desktops.   This was going to be a desktop used primarily by my wife.

However, Red Hat's update to the kernel for this chipset with an Athlon
processor introduces a ton of errors with UDMA, and major data corruption,
plus it is the first sound chip I have not had supported by Red Hat out of
the box of the few I have tried.

This machine is built on top of the remains of a machine that was 233 mhz
Debian machine.  The reason I switched back to Red Hat was the wrangling I
had to go through to get sound supported for anybody besides root in the

This leads to my questions:

1 - Does anybody know from definitive experience the status of support for
the Via VT8233A southbridge in Debian kernels?

2 - Does anybody have a good walkthrough for getting sound working, well,
with the on board sound?  In this case the board is a MSI K7T266-Pro 2A

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