Got up this morning and checked to see if rhea was still okay after its upgrade. It was still operational and reporting that about 66 or so new upgrades were ready to drop in, including an upgrade to the kernel (2.6.24-12-generic). So I let all 66 install, rebooted, and low and behold I had no sound. So I rebooted back to the prior kernel (2.6.24-11-generic) and sound worked again.
So I rebooted back into 2.6.24-12-generic, and looked for sound and snd entries in dmesg. Sure enough all the sound devices (drivers) had 'unknown symbols' (lots of them), indicating the kernel hadn't been configured properly before it was built. Oh, well. The -11 kernel worked, so I figured I'd just go and comment out the -12 entries in /boot/grub/menu.lst. No big deal, right?
When I tried to run 'sudo vi menu.lst' I got a failure in sudo: 'unable to resolve host rhea'. I checked in /etc/hosts, and sure enough the 127 entries are missing rhea as an entry. So, how can I gain rootly powers when sudo seems broken? Turns out that gksudo still worked, so I use that to fire up gedit and edit the hosts file. Then I can use sudo to edit menu.lst. The sudo issue was already reported (Bug #195308) back in late February.
The fun you have running new software. I'm real curious how 2.6.24-12-generic got out the door with the sound subsystem as broken as it appears.