AVG - Yes, if the player is DVD-A and/or SACD compatible, the 5.1 analog outs do carry the multichannel audio for DVD-A and SACD to your preamp/receiver, but they also pull double-duty for outputting decoded DD/DTS movie soundtracks if you choose that option. If your receiver/processor will decode DD/DTS, you may prefer to connect the digital out from the player for decoding movie soundtracks and use the 5.1 analog outs only for DVD-A/SACD music playback.
In my case, my receiver will only decode Pro-Logic, so I let my player (standard DVD video) handle the decoding for DD. (No DTS, DVD-A or SACD,though). I have an upgrade path, however, if I replace the player to a universal unit I will be able to pass any decoded 5.1 source through the receiver (DD/DTS, DVD-A, and SACD).
Slappy - DVD-A is still a relatively new format and is not generally referred to as "standard DVD". Standard DVD still refers to the DVD video format in most cases.
Homer - It's fairly rare to find a player that you can plug straight into a power amp. In most cases you will need a preamp stage to control volume, etc. An exeption would be something like the Meridian 800 series reference player, (and there may be others), but that player is designed to work best with active speakers like their own DSP series of active speakers so the volume is controlled digitally in that player. This is a very expensive option, however.
Hope this helps! JZ