A while back I expressed my personal experience and hatred of the iPod. I mentioned that I wouldn't be getting another iPod and today I confirmed that.
My wife's ipod mini is to the point where it won't even hold enough of a charge to turn on when plugged in. My 3rd gen ipod has been dropped too many times and the last time (not by me) broke the connector to the point where it doesn't detect that it's connected to a charger or the computer.
A few days back my sister-in-law purchased a Creative Zen V Plus 4GB and then decided that she didn't want it. My wife loved the thing and took it as her own. Goodbye, ipod mini. Hello, tiny Zen. It holds the same 4GB that her ipod mini did, but adds a color screen, can show pictures and play video (albeit tiny), has a built-in FM tuner, and a mic for recording anything. Quite a steal for only about $110.
I'm a little more geeky and require something higher than 4GB. My 3rd generation ipod held 10GB. I was looking heavily at the 30GB Creative Zen Vision:M, but after reading some reviews and great user feedback of the 30GB Microsoft Zune, I decided to pick one up. Both the 30GB Zune and Vision:M run the same price as the 30GB video ipod: $250.
The Zune has the immensely desired FM tuner as well as a much bigger [wide]screen. It also has a wireless device so that you can share music with other Zunes. On the downside, it's a little bulkier than even my old 3rd generation ipod, and doesn't look as sexy. The buttons are simple and clicky (which I prefer over the touch activated ipod), but I'll probably miss the ipod's thumbwheel. I also lament the lack of FireWire support for the Zune.
I'm currently trying to get all my music organized and put on the Zune. The software that comes with it is a breeze to install, but finds every picture, music file and video on your computer and adds them to the library. I have a ton of games installed and don't necessarily want all of the games' MP3s on my Zune. I still have to burn and rip all of my iTunes purchases (only about 85) so that I can put them on the Zune.
I'll probably be posting more about this subject in the future...