This will be my last post about Linux today, I swear!
I've installed and uninstalled Ubuntu all day today, and finally, finally, sound's working and things look good. I have no idea how I've learned this much; thankfully there are lots of guides out there to help with configuration and such with both my network card and my sound. I've barely been in Windows the past few days and I'm very happy about that. If this keeps up I may end up moving my files from there to here and sticking with it, but who knows? I at least know how to set things up now in case I run into any issues anywhere. I'm proud of myself.