I am using Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot), with a "Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)" sound card.
When I plug headphones into the front headphone port, the sound that comes out is far too loud to listen to - and has to be turned down to about 5%. Anything above that is distorted and deafening.
I have played around in Alsamixer, and whilst a decent level can be achieved (through changing three separate sliders), this is not ideal for changing the volume on my parents' computer. And using the standard volume control overrides all of that anyway.