I am using Ubuntu 12.04. When I logout and login again pulseaudio does not start and I have to start pulseaudio manually. When I boot my computer and login, pulseaudio is starting as expected. This happens only if I logout and login again.
Try changing default output plugin with the tool:
Select default output as "PulseAudio Sound Server". It should work. Logout and Login again.
If you have still problem, Delete the folder
.pulse and the file
.pulse-cookie in your home directory. Logout and Login again to see change.
This is very late, but more I suppose of a comment. Check the permissions on the system.pa,
I had followed everything on this thread as I had the same problem
Then a thought occurs. I checked the permissions on system.pa and somehow it was root only. Addressed that so it was not ONLY root and cured it for everyone on this system having issues.
Strange bit-flip I had done 3 total reinstalls and not wiped accounts and never could get the problem solved. Thank you for keeping this posted as it was a comment someone made that was not directed so much as a fix as it was a gift. "here is my System.pa, make sure the permissions are set correctly."
"Permissions? I have the system.pa...so..check permissions. AHA!" The whole bug in the soup was cured. Thanks again.