yes, i did that.
ok, now i have no sound for root or regular user...interesting.
i rebooted after following all the instructions for udev and alsa in the wiki. then, i logged in as user and started kde. i heard it play that sound kde makes at startup, but it cut off before finishing making the sound, and now sound doesnt work at all again. i'm not sure what happened, cause it's not a kde problem - even in twm as root xmms doesn't play, but it did before the restart.
it's weird how it worked for 2 seconds after starting kde and then died...any suggestions?
i could just start from scratch and stick to udev, but there's no guarantee it'll work. oy...
ok, everything works now. here's a summary for anyone who has the same problems:
1) use udev!!! it's easier!
2) follow all the instructions in the udev and alsa wikis
3) here's where the temporary sound problem got me: i was using kmix, so as kde was starting, it played the startup sound, but halfway through, kmix started up and everything was messed up, and i lost sound. so either don't use kde or don't use kmix, cause you'll have to modprobe your sound devices to get them to work again.
thanks again for the help!