Last month we had tested the new ALSA snd-oxygen driver with the CMI8788-based Razer Barracuda AC-1 and had experienced positive results. The HDA codec in ALSA 1.0.16-rc1 supports HDMI audio with the RV600 series (Linux HDMI with ATI article), VIA VT1708B support, Realtek ALC889/ALC267/ALC269 support, device ID support for the MacBook sound card, and a number of other HDA additions.
The ALSA emu10k1 driver, which is for the Creative Sound Blaster sound cards, has a general code clean-up and other minor changes. Unfortunately, the X-Fi series from Creative Labs has yet to be supported by ALSA (or any open-source sound driver) and it doesn't look like the support will arrive in time for ALSA 1.0.16. Creative Labs does provide an X-Fi Linux driver, but it's closed-source, is very late, only in beta, and only supports 64-bit Linux.
The complete change-log for ALSA 1.0.16-rc1 is available from the ALSA Project Wiki. ALSA 1.0.16-rc2 is already planned for release next week.