The SanDisk Sansa Fuze works for me just fine, nice soundquality, long battery life, small, has a micro SDHC card slot, cheap and it is .... simple. It is just a music player and radio; it does not require any special software. You can also find some accessories for it online.Those Sansa things have a GREAT reputation. I've heard nothing but good things about them.
I've got one of the old Sansa e260's
that I'm completely happy with. Superb sound quality and battery life. Also has a very pretty and functional (non-touchscreen) interface that holds its own against anything Apple has come out with IMHO. Lots of people have asked me what it is and commented on how nice it looks and works.
I usually rip anything I want to hear off my CD collection with Exact Audio Copy
; save it as a FLAC file to my media server; and optionally convert to MP3 as needed.
I was given an iPod as a business spiff shortly after I got the Sansa. After some A-B listening tests, I kept the Sansa and gave away the iPod. Nuff said?
Here's a photo of the e260's "bigger" sibling the e280. If you sprung for that model you got 8Gb of RAM (as opposed to 4). iPod - tell me why I should buy oneAnd some cleavage