I hope they fixed a few bugs while they were at it. My on some days my pulseaudio crashes very often :/ 12.04 x64
If you want bugs to be fixed, you should file them and provide the details rather than just hope that someone else found and fixed it on their own. This is especially true for components which can have hardware dependent issues which is the case here.
Check alsamixer auto-mute enabled feature. For some reason it was Disabled in Debian for myself.
I'm still waiting for PulseAudio 3.x to stop crashing with Debian Gnome 3.8.2 or KDE 4.10.2. Good thing I have alsa underneath to keep on trucking along even after Pulse craps the bed.
The experience in recent versions are much improved but unfortunately Debian (stable) is shipping is lagging behind quite a bit. Cherry picking newer versions from testing or unstable might be an option if you know what you are doing.
My biggest complaint is that the hardware volume buttons of my usb headset change the master volume instead of the headphone volume. I can't file a bug because I really don't know where to track the problem, if it is related to gnome-settings-daemon or pulseaudio.
If you want bugs to be fixed, you should file them and provide the details rather than just hope that someone else found and fixed it on their own.
Why? At least on openSUSE deactivating PA is just as easy as unchecking a single checkbox in YaST.
Every time a new PA version landed in openSUSE, I switched it on, heard cracks and stutters especially in Flash, and then decided to let PA go fuck itself again.
Even if PA didn't have these bugs for me, PA simply does not offer a single benefit for me over pure ALSA. I don't have a LAN to stream audio over, I don't have Bluetooth devices, I hate all forms of telephoning, etc.
If switching something off is easier than debugging and investigating the source of a problem of a component I don't even need (!), I simply don't do it.
 People sometimes say it's the fault of Flash and not PA and I believe them. I'm fully aware that Flash is a POS but some websites I browse require Flash whereas nothing I do requires PA, so out goes PA.