I believe this was the right choice. Pulseaudio should be in extra and all
applications build with pulse support.
Regarding phonon, i believe KDE intends to drop it at some point, not sure
were i read that. I remember reading something about KDE 5 not including
phonon, but it may be FUD. Anyone more informed on the issue?
In any case, Linux/GNU needs pulseaudio. Pulseaudio should be the api to
target for all apps. The kind of functionality it provides it is needed if
modern distros are to compete with Windows 7. Windows 7 now provide the
functionality to switch sound cards on the fly without restaring the app
playing sound. This is possible only with Pulseaudio as far as i can tell in
the Linux world. And this is just one example.
Imagine if you have a headset with included sound card, for example a 5.1
headset. Without Pulseaudio, it is a chore to switch sound to it, with
Pulseaudio it is easy and userfriendly. Windows 7 now can do it too. Imagine
if a user tries to do it in Linux without pulse, he will be frustrated. Of
course, Arch users should be knowledgable enough to switch sound cards in
ALSA, but it still is a chore. And it is not the point.
The point is, Linux needs a sound daemon to provide modern user friendliness.
So it is a matter of time for GNOME and KDE to support it natively. KDE tried
it with phonon, but it seems phonon is more problematic than pulseaudio, with
less features. At least for me, when phonon sits on top of ALSA, i get all
sorts of messages informing me that some interface should be disabled, it is
annoying. Plus when i change a sound card, the app needs restarting.
So yes, in time pulseaudio should become the default linux api for Linux/GNU,
if not already. If there are bugs, they could be solved if all those geniuses
bitching about it and use ALSA could be bothered to help a little.