If you don't normally follow the Ubuntu development lists, it's a good time to begin. Yesterday I uploaded alsa-driver 220.127.116.11 to Lucid which, among other things, contains my extensions to power down various parts of the HDA controller and codec after a configurable idle period. Work is far from complete, and I could use your help to make sure your sound hardware is well-supported in 10.10.
"Just to clarify in case it's not already obvious: my having uploaded alsa-driver 18.104.22.168 in no way affects the default Lucid install of the kernelspace ALSA driver (aka alsa-kernel). It remains 1.0.21. Anyone wishing to build modules of 22.214.171.124 can do so using module-assistant and alsa-source. And, until Takashi returns, that approach will be more current than using the daily snap from the 27 Dec.
So, the current state of Lucid contains:
alsa-kernel 1.0.21 (as shipped in linux 2.6.32-9.13-generic)
alsa-lib 1.0.22 + Fix-S24_3LE-softvol-distortion.patch (bdf80)