I am running Fedora 9 on my r61i. I have an R61i and it says it has a microphone at the lenovo web site. Also if I run PulseAudio input mixer it shows some vu meters that appear to be picking up sound from the room and if I rap on the case by the left speaker the vu meters jump. Having said that if I run Audacity, Skype or Sound Recorder there is no sound. I noticed that in edit/preferences in Audacity where you select input and output there is no input to select. have tried this with pulse audio uninstalled as well because I understand that audacity won't work with pulse audio.
I noticed that there is an updated driver for windows if the microphone doesn't work. I understand that it is problem with the Linux kernel.