From what I can tell, my microphone works but the system only recognizes a tiny amount of input volume. So little that Flash based things fail to see any at all, but desktop apps (including the pulse volume control) seem to notice a little bit. I have all the relevant sliders up to max. I'm not sure what's going on right now. I'd appreciate if someone could provide some advice. Thanks.
output of lspci:
$ lspci | grep -i audio
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)