This is known issue, as it is written is one of many Volume anomalies and seems to be a common trouble because i have it too with or without PulseAudio, though it is due to some dependence with pulseaudio relation.
The only other tweak I needed to make was to add a startup item to restore all my volume levels, as they were being muted on each boot
that is provably the closest way to do things 'right' because no other solution works for now, i explored PulseAudio Manager and it has a button which 'let's you shutdown PulseAudio' as far as i understand for it's look:
After all this, I'm finally happy with the audio in ubuntu. All this was done without completely removing pulse
Unfortunately this does not work as it should/would seem/be, i haven't tried yet what you said about avoid PulseAudio from spawning every time is killed from the System Monitor, i learned from all the times i messed my Mandriva distro that forcing an app to close or 'die' would cause internal conflicts that can lead to a system crash.
that's not thrue at all, and i don't know if it's good or not, because the process gnome-volume-control does exist as such, "works" and eats memory, but can't start properly, not even die if you kill it from the system monitor, when succesfully killed and restarted the next error appear:
The simple answer is you can't, not with Karmic. The developers decided to remove the Gnome Volume Control from Karmic.
maybe completely removed from karmic would be a better idea then, as for gnome-volume-control is not available from the repos but i think is included in the package that has 'various panel applets', returning to the page were the known issues that karmic has, is also mentioned that:
(gnome-volume-control-applet:4475): WARNING **: Connection failed
Also i don't know if anyone else has noticed yet, but there's also a constant intermittent sound glitch even if no aplication is playing sound, this is not fault of my drivers or hardware because i also had Mandriva and Ubuntu 8.10 installed before 9.10.
The ALSA volume control is hidden in Karmic, because you normally do not need to mess with it (most things you need are in the new volume control applet). But in some cases you still need to access the ALSA-level volume control.