I uninstalled everything I could that had to do with pulse audio, and gstreamer.
Seems like something that's worth trying, but, wow, uninstalling that stuff shouldn't be something that one has to do to get Amarok working right.
Going back to this idea, I don't think that everyone who is NOT having a problem with Amarok has uninstalled everything having to do with pulse audio and gstreamer, right? Seems to me that many folks are running Amarok fine "out of the box."
I installed the OS, MiniMe, got rid of any Pulse and Gstreamer stuff because Pulse messed up with Skype, the first thing I installed after upgrading, and I hate Gstreamer. Then installed whatever else, pretty much leaving all the defaults. I installed Amarok and the Xine plugin for it, at the same time, and it's just been working from the start. That's as out of the box as it gets. I really didn't fuss with it at all. If someone claims a problem with it, I try to duplicate and verify the problem, but so far I haven't been able to, because it continues to work as expected.
My installation was from the first MiniMe 2010 image released, on the day of release, before it was later replaced. The install kernel caused me no end of grief, but upgrading to the 2.6.33 kernel cured all problems; currently using 22.214.171.124-pclos2, and have been upgrading continuously, as upgrades became available. I check for upgrades three times a day.
It's still randomly playing my selections, and hasn't missed a beat, or had a single hiccup.
I'm switching back to the standard play through, as I've now heard some of these songs four or five times, while a few haven't played at all.