I'm a big fan of the Creative Labs family of MP3 players. My 40-gig Creative player is now 3 or 4 years old and works as well as the day I bought it. My son has one too and my daughters both have Flash RAM models that they absolutely love.
I found myself in the local Apple store recently and was enamored with the iPod touch product. Very cool, but I couldn't see myself taking that $300+ device out with me while I mow the lawn, for example. (On a related note, I asked a co-worker this week if he is an Apple fan. He said he must be, because his family owns 4 iPods, but then he also noted that 3 of the 4 are broken...)
I've been thinking about getting a smaller player that fits in my shirt pocket but I hate it that all the Flash-based ones have such limited capacity. I keep wishing someone would include an SD card slot to address this issue. Yeah, I know...the manufacturers want us to feel the need to upgrade from 2 gigs to 4, 4 gigs to 8, etc.
My wish came true this week. Fry's is selling a 1-gig player with an SD slot from GPX for $19.99. Yes, that's right. $19.99. This thing is as ugly as the iPod is beautiful, but I don't care. I'm not going to sit around staring at it all day. I just want it to produce great sound. And boy, does it ever!
I loaded it up last night and then stopped back by Fry's this morning to pick up the first of 2 or 3 2-gig SD cards (on sale for $14.99). I plan to load them up with different genres of music so I can just pop one in to fit my mood, press "random" and enjoy my wonderfully inexpensive solution.
If I buy 2 more cards I will have invested $65 plus tax and probably won't need to buy another device for another 3 or 4 years, depending on how long this one lasts. Heck, even if it only lasts a year, for $20, how could I possibly complain?!