I think I was after something different than you, a multi-device synced solution, but here's some things I went through on my similar search.
My main goal was finding a way of keeping my feeds in sync between my desktop at home and my laptop, where I do most of my listening, at work..
At first I was using the Zune
software on my desktop to subscribe and download, sync the files to my external drive and then play them whereever. But I wanted to get away from having to take the external drive out of my bag each day.
Then I started using Foobar2000
with the Podcatcher
component portably, which worked well but I still wasn't satisfied with keeping them in sync, and I got a new phone that I wanted to start using as well.
That's when I tried Google's Listen
app for Android, which integrates with Google Reader, and that was just an awful mess. It works alright, but it was difficult when a podcast would show up in Google Reader, and I'd have to keep it new until I listend for it to show up in Listen.
I like Google Reader for RSS, and now that I had moved my podcast subscriptions into it, I found that I liked it better than Zune (which I didn't dare install on my work PC). Thus, I decided to just manage things myself. Currently, I subscribe in Google Reader and when a new podcast shows up I download it to my Dropbox folder.
Then I can download it on my phone or play it from any of my devices (they all have Dropbox) in whatever player I want. Once I've listened I just delete it from Dropbox and that's it.
It's not a nice automated solution, but it's a simple one that meets my needs, and there's no software trying to be too smart or flashy getting in the way.