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Basic advice for setting up sound? Ubuntu convert

Hi. I used to use Debian but recently have been using Ubuntu. For various reasons (mainly hating the Unity interface) i now am back on Debian. I have a clean install of Wheezy running under Xfce on a basic desktop computer. I am looking to get audio working in a straightforward way, i dont want to be doing anything fancy. The "basic" docs ive looked at are often very complicated and talk aboutt hings i dont want to do.

Under Ubuntu, running PulseAudio, sound Just Worked. That's what i want. I dont care about PulseAudio specifically but if it works smoothly i'll use it.

Specifically: I want there to be one place where there's a GUI that controls the system volume and that controls what audio device is playing. Right now i have plugged-in speakers and a USB audio device, and will soon have another USB device. In Ubuntu I would go to the Gnome audio thing that was available from all the menus, and select the output device, and that's what would work for all apps. In Debian the Alsa Mixer that launches from the Xfce widget doesnt seem to control where the sound goes, so i have to start messing around in each app to choose the output. This is a pain; i want to switch from the plugged-in speakers to the USB device in one place and for everything, whether its XMMS or Flash videos in Firefox or VLC or whatever.

Where can i go for docs on how to set this up to Just Work?

Also my plugged-in speakers are only playing out of one channel; and I want to re-map two keys (scroll-lock and pause/break) to function as volume up/down buttons (I dont have a multimedia keyboard with volume buttons) and I dont know the commands to map to these keys. But in both cases i assume the answer will depend on my overall solution so I am only mention this in passing.

Thank you!

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