Gobo12my soundblaster live 5.1 value allows me to hear footsteps and satchel charges and planes etc just fine so I'm not sure what you're talking about with that one.
I've got the exactly same card. The sounds sort of, clipped each other. I couldn't always hear the shooting sounds and so on.
My audigy 2 zs lists 32 channels max when I have Hardware Acceleration enabled. It does play more then 32 channels though.
I also have my system hooked up to my sony Digital reciever and I have true 4-channel surround sound (5 channel is gay because the center speaker nullifies the front L and front Right ones).
It makes for a lot of intense battles. The Audigy 2 ZS improved my framerate about 15 FPS over my onboard card when I first got it. I play all sounds at 44kzh, max qual.
If anyone has an original audigy, this site has some drivers for it that upgrade it to an audigy 2... I did it to mine and it gave a big jump in power (speakers can go really loud now), sound quality, and BF playability.... They also probably have stuff for the other uadigy and SB cards, so look around. Look for stuff posted by a guy named Classic_Leon, his drivers rock!