If you want continous connection, you need a socketserver running.
You can connect to a socket server with flash.
But if you use AMFPHP, you have to query once in a while.
If you setup an intelligent software only exchanging the most important data, you still can have a high responsive application without the backdrwas of a socketserver.
Even with a socketserver, I would use the socket only for status information and exchange the larger packets vie http request.