Trust me,im a proud suburban loser/geek,and have no plans to be "popular" and i must say a 30 gig ipod is very much underrated for its value for the money. Most 299 dollars players lack video capability (with the exception of iRivers new flash players,which are very nice too and cheaper then ipod,but hold much less,but those are nano
fighters) All mp3 players break and get scratched up,but the batteries really do suck with ipods. Sound quality is also very good,as long as you dont use apples lousy stock earbuds,which is the status symbol of the ipod generation. Thats why i use etymotics,not stock. when it comes to sound quality,ease of use, and overall value,the ipod is a good player that gets a bad name by the stock earbud wearing posers
who make the less image concerned immediately look over the ipod. While iriver,creative,archos,etc etc happen to make very good mp3 players, the ipod is just as good as any of these,and at 299 for a 30 gig player with video capability(you can get freeware to rip dvds straight on to the device),the ipod is actually a good overall value ruined by its MTV image.
If apple would just add an FM tuner and a built in voice recorder to thier ipod,they would actually have the perfect player.