My solution to sound with Vista (or rather, with Server 2008 in 'workstation' mode), was to utilize my Plantronics usb headset. There are no drivers yet for my M-Audio Revolution 7.1 at any rate, and as the OP said, with anything resembling positional audio non-functional at the moment, barring Creative Labs new Alchemy package, I saw little reason to invest in another sound card when I built the second box. Especially moreso since Alchemy only works with Creative Labs cards (naturally, can't blame them), and I avoid anything from them like the plague. Their hardware is great. Their software... leaves much to be desired.
Also, drivers were a cinch.. they come with the OS
Is the sound quality up to my M-audio or other solutions? Nah.. I originally bought the Plantronics for voice comms, a function at which they excel... plus they're comfortable. But until the situation with sound and Vista changes, I'm not wasting my money.