I've had so many headaches with pulseaudio that I really wonder why it was implemented. Then I started thinking, hmm, I often tap into my Ubuntu machine from my laptop and will stream music across my network. Is PulseAudio controlling this at this point? Can Alsa handle these same tasks? With streaming across a samba network, does pulse offer anything over alsa that is "required" for good performance?

Tell me what I need to know, because I'm on the verge of uninstalling this headache.