Moving to PulseAudio is pretty painless. Just need to install the package and edit /etc/pulse/client.conf to have:
autospawn = yes
One issue I did have was I kept hearing my microphone input in my
headphones using a USB headset.
Fixing this was quite simple - in alsamixer, use F6 to select the 'sound card' and select your headset.
Mute the 'Playback' for the microphone while leaving the capture options on.