apple only needs to work on the battery issue. other than that i think ipods are great.
here are a couple links to check out w/ some information: http://reviews.cnet.com/Music/4521-6532_7-5021434-3.html?tag=dir.temp
if you use itunes and wanna be hip and cool w/ your white headphones then get an ipod
if you dont care about itunes then i would check out the sony HD-5 player. its a 20 gig unit and it has a batter that lasts 40 hours. oh yeah, and the battery is removable so you can exchange it if it ever starts to wear down. two nice things about it is that if you rotate the player 90 degrees the screen will rotate so you can still read it. oh, and if you drop the player it will disengage the hard drive so no damage is done to it.
here is a link to the nano: http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_iPod_Nano__4GB__black_/4505-6490_7-31515640.html?tag=topprods
the editors that reviewed the nano found that it only played for around 15 hours per charge. if you use that "heavily," expect it to be around 10 hours per charge after youve used the player for a year.