I just went and bought a Creative Recon3D soundcard and I cannot get it to see the Front Panel microphone. Just says its unplugged. FP output is fine - when plugged in it mutes rear speakers and plays out headphones. As far as I can tell, the Recon has the same FP header as my previous soundcard, an X-fi Extreme. Ive been onto Creative but its hard enough getting them to read the question!
So far I have:
Reconnected the old Soundcard and checked the microphone works with that (it does)
Made use of rear panel inputs/outputs
In all other respects the Recon works fine