Hi there, McFlyx.
The front-panel microphone jack will still be enabled, and will still pass signal, even if an optical cable is connected to the rear-channel digital output.
The shared microphone port is the only real caveat with this card, but some compromises are expected in order to cram that many I/O features into a low-profile form factor. Still, the fact that the front panel microphone connector continues to work makes the shared microphone jack almost a nonissue. This sound card remains my top pick in the $80-$100 price range.