For the last year or so, I've been running redhat 8.0
on my Dell Latitude C840.

Periodically, on logging into X, I'd get "error while initializing
the sound driver. Couldn't set requested sampling rate, blah, could
only get blah."

I eventually found that this only happenned when I booted up without
the AC power plugged in. It wasn't really a big deal, so I didn't try
to chase down the problem very hard. Today, I installed Fedora Core
on the same laptop, and got the SAME message under the same circumstances.

I went into the BIOS and disabled the power management, and rebooted.

The problem no longer occurs! I think I can live with this work-around
until the linux APCI stuff gets a little more polished (I'm assuming
this is APCI related).